The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) on Monday called on the Federal Government to embark on intensive public enlightenment campaigns as more states confirmed cases of Lassa fever
It said the government needed to bolster the country’s preparedness in handling infectious diseases, especially viral hemorrhagic fever , at all levels of healthcare delivery through an increase in the budgetary allocations to the health sector and full implementation of the National Health Act (2014)
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) listed Lagos, Abuja, Owo, Irua and Abakaliki as cities hosting five functional molecular laboratories for diagnosing and detecting Lassa Fever
The NMA explained in a statement by its President, Dr. Francis Faduyile, that the frequency of Lassa fever outbreaks gives credence to the deplorable state of healthcare delivery in Nigeria.
The NMA advised people, especially those living in rural areas to wash their hands with soaps frequently and use hand sanitisers when appropriate as means of staying free from the disease.
It urged health workers to adopt precautionary measures when caring for suspected Lassa fever patients “with the use of gloves, and avoiding contact with the body fluid (urine, vomitus, faeces and blood) of the sick.
Director General of the NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, named the hospitals as the National Reference Laboratory in Abuja, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital in Edo Edo State; Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Ondo State; Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State and Lagos University Teaching Hospital in Idi Araba, Lagos.