Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), on Friday, confirmed that Nigeria recorded the highest level of Lassa fever outbreak in 2018.
Over 100 deaths were recorded and 400 confirmed cases in different parts of Nigeria between January 1 and May 6, 2018. But NCDC’s latest report indicated that the case dropped to its lowest in April.
Chief Executive Officer of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, told journalists in Abuja, that 85 percent of the Lassa fever cases were recorded in Edo, Ondo and Ebonyi states.
He appreciated the effort of the Institute of Lassa Fever Research and Control (ILFRC), at Irrua, Edo state, for the great role it played in responding to the epidemic.
He added, “We have exited the emergency stage of the disease outbreak. However, we cannot claim to have found solution to the challenges but we have developed a unique strength in the management of the epidemic.
“The epidemiology of Lassa fever has made it possible for periodic outbreak of the epidemic.”
The Chief Medical Director, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH), Prof. Sylvanus Okogbenin, disclosed plans to train some front line health workers that would professionally respond and manage subsequent Lassa fever outbreak in their states.
“We intend build the capacities of doctors, nurses, state epidemiologists, disease surveillance officers, laboratory scientists and health educators on how best to handle Lassa fever cases,” he said.