Lassa Fever Disease could kill 1000 Nigerians – Health Minister

He also described the outbreak as a national embarrassment while urging health practitioners not to hide cases in their respective states.

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The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole has reportedly warned that the current Lassa fever outbreak could kill 1000 Nigerians if not urgently checked.

He also described the outbreak as a national embarrassment while urging health practitioners not to hide cases in their respective states, ThisDay reports.

Professor Adewole made the disclosure in Abuja on Tuesday, January 19, 2016, during the Emergency National Council on Health meeting with state Commissioners of Health and other stakeholders in the sector.

“There is a high level of denial and a conspiracy of silence in some of our states. I think people take delight in saying we have no case and to me that is not the issue,” the minister said.

“In fact, if you are able to pick a suspicious cases, to me that is the issue because that goes to tell us that the surveillance system is at work. We also want to alert all health professionals in the country that they should report any case.

“I have described the outbreak as a national embarrassment. We can manage embarrassment, but when we allow another outbreak to occur in August this year, it will become a national shame to all of us. One of the things we will do to prevent us from dragging this nation into shame is to stamp out Lassa Fever.

“Healthcare managers should not deceive their political leaders that all is well. All states should consider themselves at risk. It has affected 64 local governments across the country and we have been able to pick 212 suspected cases. It dates back from August last year, not just this year. It is better to over-count suspected cases than to under-count.

“The real hot spots are Niger, Bauchi, Taraba, Kano, Edo, Nasarawa, Plateau and Rivers, but for us to be honest with ourselves, all states should consider themselves at risk and please, put up measures to contain, prevent and reassure the community that we are on top of the situation,” he added.

Meanwhile a doctor has died of the disease in Osun state after vomiting blood at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH) in Ile-Ife.

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