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LASSA FEVER

Lassa fever: Enugu to retrain health workers

Raphael Ede, Enugu

The Enugu State Government has concluded arrangement to  retrain medical and hospital workers in the state following outbreak of Lassa fever that claimed one live last Thursday.

This was as the state advised health workers to apply universal medical precautions in the discharge of their duties and for residents to ensure personal hygiene and environmental sanitation in their neighbourhood.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Fintan Ekochin, who disclosed this yesterday to Daily Sun in an exclusive interview, noted that the training, which will focus on infection, prevention and control would be conducted in different hospitals with the support of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Dr. Ekochin  explained that the training became necessary in view of the increasing cases of hemorrhagic fever that intermittently occur in the neighbouring state, even as he said Enugu State will continue to have successful control of the epidemics.

“We have a neighbouring state, which is just 20 minutes’ drive from Enugu, where a high number of cases exist over the years. So, this is evidence that we are doing it well in the state for us to have very minimal cases.

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“So, I say this to make it clear that we are not surprised that we have one case, we are rather happy that we have one case after a long time,” he stated.

He said people should not panic as “gone are the days we panic,” stressing that the government has given them adequate support to handle such emergencies. “So, we don’t need to start going to borrow anywhere to do the needful.”

On the Lassa patient that died last Thursday, he said “the ministry received an alert from one of the disease surveillance and notification officer last week that there was a suspect.

“When you do the test and get it confirmed, you now call that patient a confirmed patient. Unfortunately that patient died. This patient was in a hospital being successfully treated for another condition for nearly three to four weeks before dying,” he said.

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