The Minister of Health, Prof. Osagie Ohanire, has said early detection and treatment could prevent deaths from Lassa fever.

He urged Nigerians to report for early treatment, if they experienced feverish conditions.

The minister said this just as the Minister of State for Health, Senator Olorunimbe Mamora, said Nigeria was leading the world in tackling deaths from pneumonia among children.

According to him, pneumonia kills 800,000 children worldwide annually.

The duo spoke at the opening of a two-day meeting on Human Capital Development, organised by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum for state commissioners of health.

The Centre for Disease Control said on Wednesday the number of states reporting at least a case of the disease rose to 23 from 19 in the previous week.

The 23 states are Ondo, Borno, Edo, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Nasarawa, Kano, Kogi, Kaduna, Adamawa, Cross River, Delta, and Osun.

Others are Ogun, Abia, Plateau, Enugu, Kebbi, Taraba, Kebbi, Gombe and Federal Capital Territory.

The report indicated a reduction in the number of new deaths to six compared with 19 the previous week.

The CDC said Nigeria had recorded 47 deaths from the outbreak this year.

Ohanire said, “Death from Lassa fever is preventable and can be treated if detected early. We urge our workers to observe universal standard preventive measure.”

He added that the Centre for Disease Control was coordinating government response to Lassa fever spread.

Ohanire asked the commissioners to urge governors to invest more in general hospitals instead of building one expensive hospital in the capital.

“Secondary health care is important to attaining quality delivery of health care. States can’t abdicate secondary health care to the private sector,” he said.

Mamora said Nigeria was the first country to document a comprehensive government’s plan of action on efforts to tackle the killer disease.

“Nigeria has set the pace for treatment and tackling pneumonia in children with a well-documented action plan,” he said.

NOA sensitises Oyo residents to Lassa fever, others

The National Orientation Agency has advised residents of Oyo State to avoid actions that could cause fire incidents.

The state Director of NOA, Mrs Dolapo Dosunmu, gave the advice on Thursday in Ibadan during a programme organised for the public by the agency.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the programme also aimed at sensitising the people of the state to security, prevention of Lassa fever, coronavirus, drug abuse and vandalism of public property.

On Lassa fever and coronavirus, Dosunmu implored Nigerians to take their personal hygiene seriously.

“We are advised by medical experts to clear the surroundings of our houses, exterminate rodents from our homes, cover our foodstuffs properly and stay off the eating of rats, bats and snakes,” she stated.

The NOA boss noted that the onset of dry season since late 2019 had brought about incidents of fire disasters in some communities in the state.

She called on the residents to be conscious and mindful of how they handled naked fire and all acts that could result in fire outbreak.

By Kamarudeen Ogundele,
The Punch

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