Lassa Fever: Edo steps up containment efforts

Lassa Fever: Edo steps up containment efforts

  • Confirmed cases now 115

  • Health Commissioner announces hot lines

    (L-R) Permanent Secretary, Hospitals Management Agency, Dr. Aisien Efosa; Ag. CMD ISTH, Prof. Reuben Agbonyosoria Eifediyi; Health Commissioner, Prof. Obehi Akoria; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Stanley Ehiarimwian; Director of Public Health Edo State MoH, Dr. Stephenson Ojeifoh and Incident Manager for Lassa Fever. Dr. Ekaete Tobi during the visit to ISTH.

The Edo State government has stepped up efforts to contain the upsurge of Lassa fever in different parts of the state even as more cases are being recorded, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the state to 115.

The state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Obehi Akoria who led officials of the ministry and its agencies to Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital where a majority of the patients are currently being treated said government efforts are yielding fruits as the 40 patients, 26 adults and 14 children on admission at the hospital are responding to treatment.

Prof. Akoria told journalist that the state is adequately prepared and fully equipped to handle reported cases from the affected local governments. She described the facilities at the ISTH isolation centre as impressive.

“There is a ward for severely ill  patients, with an extension for mildly and moderately cases. The holding capacity was recently increased by activating and repurposing an extension. The centre can now cater for close to 100 patients. 

“The facility is neat and spacious with good measures for infection prevention and control. They have good equipment and are able to provide specialist care to manage patients with comorbidities and even pregnant women.”

The Commissioner commended the staff, and confirmed that the centre is coping well with the outbreak.

“Providing additional wards for patient care has further improved case management. We appreciate the management of ISTH for that.

“There are capable, experienced and committed healthcare professionals on ground to manage the wide range of clinical scenarios associated with Lassa fever.”

Although the hospital is a Federal institution fully supported by the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Centre for Disease Control, Prof. Akoria disclosed that the Edo State Government regularly provides IPC commodities for the care of patients at the Lassa fever isolation centre.

“The Heads of Local Government recently also provide financial support to indigent patients in a bid to address patients’ reluctance to go into treatment centres.

“Several dialysis machines were purchased and installed by the State government. Unfortunately we were informed at this visit that they have broken down.

“We intend to upscale the state response by activating a holding centre in Edo North senatorial zone as soon as possible,” she said.



Edo State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akoria and other ministry officials with the Ag. CMD ISTH, Prof. Reuben Agbonyosoria Eifediyi during the visit to ISTH.

Prof. Akoria also urged Edo residents to complement the government’s efforts by complying with all laid down protocols against the spread of the disease.

She said:  “If you experience symptoms such as severe headache, vomiting, and high fever, among others, you must quickly rush to the nearest health care centre close to you to report.”

She further charged them to reach out to the disease surveillance or notification officers within their local government areas if they have been in contact with someone confirmed to have Lassa fever or suspect any symptoms of Lassa fever or any other priority disease.

The disease surveillance or notification officers’ contacts include: Akoko Edo 07034420077; Egor 08078750376; Esan Central 09074513116; Esan North East 08034897353; Esan South East 07035389297; Esan West 07016618702; Etsako Central 07035411607 and Etsako East 09026339245.

Others are Etsako West 08060443793; Igueben 08135041727; Ikpoba Okha 08074431217; Oredo 09052887778; Orhionmwon 07032436654; Ovia North East 08036859629; Ovia South West 08130989877; Owan East 07031295391; Owan East 08135649368, and Uhunmwode 08057861900.

The Commissioner noted that the State Disease Surveillance and Notification Officer can also be reached on 08060593802, while the State Epidemiologist can be contacted on 08064258163.

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