14 March 2018

Nigeria: Lassa Fever Kills Three in Ekiti, Cross River Government's Firm to Produce Vaccines

The Ekiti State Government has uncovered fresh cases of Lassa fever, which has claimed three lives.The victims were a patient who tested positive to the disease, and two others who had contact with the deceased.

Commissioner for Health, Rotimi Ojo, who made this disclosure in Ado-Ekiti yesterday, said five of the eight other suspected cases in the state tested negative, one was uncertain and the last was pending as at press time.He, however, stressed that there was no cause for alarm, noting that the state government was taking proactive steps in surveillance activities that would involve all residents due to some recorded cases and deaths in neighbouring states.

He assured that the State Disease Control team had been activated, while the process of sensitising the people with jingles, adverts and other communication media were ongoing.

Ojo said similar actions taken during the 2016 outbreak were successful, adding that the epidemic was perfectly controlled while the patient, who was properly managed, survived.

He disclosed that the isolation centre's at Ido Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti; Oba Adejuyigbe General Hospital and the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti were still operational.He urged health practitioners, teachers, traditional rulers, religious leaders, as well as community and opinion leaders to join hands with the state government to prevent a further spread of the disease in the state.

Meanwhile, the Cross River State government is set to commission a pharmaceutical company- CalaPharm that would manufacture drugs for the treatment of Lassa fever, meningitis and other diseases next month.

The team, which was led by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mrs. Rosemary Achibong, also visited Rice City and Industrial Zone, which would house private companies under APZ.

Consultant in charge of the project, Farhan Khan, made this known yesterday in Calabar during inspection of projects undertaken by the present administration.He said the factory, which would be of World Health Organisation (WHO) standard would complement the Governor Ben Ayade Care and also focus on mother and childcare.Khan said: "Production is coming up soon, so we will be producing drugs of WHO standards and by next month, it should be commissioned because the machines are already here."


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