* Says Lassa fever is treatable if properly diagnosis, calls on Nigerians to come together and be on alert
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has said that the Federal government is committed to the established standard and efficient laboratories across the 36 states of the Federation.
The minister, who stated this while reacting to the recent outbreak of Lassa fever in Ebonyi State where two four people were reported to have died in a telephone chat with The Daily Times, said that Lassa fever is treatable if it is properly diagnosed.
The minister also attributed death to negligence on part of some of the health workers and called on Nigerians to ensure that any fever that last for more than two weeks should not be taken lightly.
He said, “Lassa fever is treatable. We are telling our doctors, any fever must be tested before treatment. Don’t treat malaria without diagnosis and all our health care workers should prepare to protect themselves with safety gadgets where there are suspected lassa fever cases.
“We must all work together if there is diarrhoea in Abia, is it Federal Ministry of Health that will come and treat it? There is a Commissioner of Health at the state so all of us must work together but you must also alert us, for every case, they should let us know.
“We have a team is Ebonyi working with them now, training them and also federal government is committed to making the laboratories work, work with the state’s government and make sure that in each zone of the country, there is a standard lab so that you won’t have to transfer samples from across zones”.
The minister also explained that such health issues are not the responsibility of the Federal government alone but rather the responsibility for all.
He also said that Health is on the concurrent list and it is the duty of health journalists to educate Nigerians that health is on the concurrent list and not on the exclusive list.
He said, “If someone has a headache in Enugu, it is not the Federal Ministry of Health that should look after him or her. There is a Commissioner for health in Anambra, there is a Commissioner for health in Ebonyi. It is when they cannot work that we can then help them.
“And we have a team on the ground in Ebonyi to help them; there are issues of negligence, issue of abandonment of standard practices because when you are operating, you must take some precautions.
“One of the doctors was in a private hospital for two weeks where they said they were treating malaria, you can’t treat malaria for two weeks”.
The Daily Times recalls that the Ebonyi Government had on Monday confirmed the death of two persons from a renewed Lassa fever outbreak in the state.
The Commissioner for Health, Daniel Onwuzurike, who made the disclosure at an interaction with newsmen, noted that the deceased persons included a doctor and a nurse working at the Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki, FETHA. O
nwuzurike said that 12 samples had been collected and tested for possible detection with four testing positive to the dreaded disease.
“Apart from the two confirmed deaths, we have not confirmed whether another doctor who worked in the hospital died of the disease as he was known to be diabetic.
Also, another case of lassa fever was reported in Nasarawa State on Thursday.
The Daily Times News