Lassa Fever Outbreak: Threat Has Been Minimised, But…
If you were ever apprehensive over the outbreak of Lassa Fever in Nigeria, it is time to relax, but the Health Ministry also wants you to do something.
On Thursday, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, announced the end of the emergency phase of the disease outbreak in Nigeria.
Adewole told a news conference in Abuja that although the threat was minimised, it does not mean that the fight was over.
According to him, since the beginning of January 2018 the country has experienced the largest Lassa fever outbreak in history.
He noted that in May 2018, 423 confirmed cases of Lassa fever were recorded with a total of 106 deaths.
“The Lassa fever outbreak provided an opportunity for us to review and strengthen our public health system across disease preparedness, detection, surveillance and response.
“The Federal Ministry of Health through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), activated an Emergency Operation Centres that worked extensively to coordinate outbreak response activities.
“The end of the outbreak does not mean we will no longer record cases of Lassa fever. Given the epidemiology of the disease in Nigeria, there will still be reports of cases.
“However, we are now better prepared and have a stronger response architecture,” he said.
Adewole noted that one of the medium-term strategies had already started as a nationwide training of healthcare workers on Lassa fever case management and diagnosis was in place by NCDC and Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital.
He added that the National Lassa fever working group at NCDC would remain active, ensuring Lassa fever cases are detected early, and treated with an increased level of awareness across Nigeria.