Nigeria: Lassa Fever - NCDC Deploys Health Workers to Hospitals in Edo, Ondo

10 April 2020

The Nigeria Center For Disease Control (NCDC) says it has deployed personnel to Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irua, Edo, and the Federal Medical Center, Owo, Ondo, in spite of a decrease in Lassa fever outbreak which is in its week 14.

Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director-General of NCDC, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Abuja, that the centre deployed clinicians, lab technicians and hygienists to the hospitals to manage a national response on Lassa fever amidst the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), crisis in the country.

Ihekweazu said that the National Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), for Lassa fever had also been activated to coordinate response activities across states with confirmed cases.

He further said that the National Rapid Response Teams had been deployed from NCDC to support response activities in 10 states.

The NCDC helmsman said that the five molecular laboratories for Lassa fever testing were working at full capacity to ensure that all samples were tested and results provided within the shortest possible time.

Ihekweazu disclosed that NCDC was working to support every state in Nigeria to identify one treatment centre, while supporting existing ones with care, treatment and other essentials.

He, however, said that risk communications and community engagement activities had been scaled up across states using television, radio, print, social media and other strategies.

He added that the implementation of Lassa Fever Environmental Response Campaign in high burden states by the Federal Ministry of Environment was still ongoing.

Giving the highlights of Week 14, he said that the number of new confirmed cases decreased from 19 cases in week 13 to 12 cases in Week 14..

The NCDC DG said that these were reported from five states namely; Edo, Ondo, Ebonyi, Bauchi and Sokoto.

Ihekweazu said that the cumulatively from week 1 to week 14, 2020, 188 deaths had been reported with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 19.5 per cent which, he said was lower than 22.7 per cent CFR for the same period in 2019.

"In total, 27 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 126 Local Government Areas in 2020.

"The male to female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:1.2," he said.

The DG, however, said that the number of suspected cases had significantly increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2019.

He expressed delight that there was no new case of healthcare workers' infection in the week under review.

NAN

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