<strong>Lassa fever: Benue records 46 cases, 9 deaths</strong>

<strong>Lassa fever: Benue records 46 cases, 9 deaths</strong>

  • as FG announces plans for national de-ratisation campaign

Benue State has reportedly recorded 46 Lassa Fever cases and nine deaths in seven Local Government Areas, LGAs, of the state. Some of the cases were said to have been recorded in an internally displaced  persons, IDPs, camp. 

According to Vanguard report, the State Epidemiologist, Dr. Terungwa Ngishe who made this known Thursday in Makurdi, said the LGAs affected in the outbreak included Obi, Okpokwu, Gwer West, Makurdi, Guma, Gwer East and Ukum. 

He explained that the infection rate was higher than the figure of last year, assuring that sustained efforts were on to contain the outbreak. 

He said: “So far as we speak from the results gotten, Benue has 46 cases of Lassa Fever. The cases are spread across, seven LGAs, namely; Obi, Okpokwu, Gwer West, Makurdi, Guma, Gwer East and Ukum. 

“It is actually an increase compared to what we had last year. So far, we have nine deaths in confirmed cases as we speak. And we have been able to bury all the dead in accordance with safe burial protocols across the various areas of the state where they hailed from. 

“We have sustained response through the intervention of the Federal Government, World Bank and the National Centre for Disease Control, NCDC.   They have spoken loudly to enhance our surveillance efforts, risk communication (creating social behaviour change) in the communities; they have also spoken to the laboratory component of the response and coordination. 

“Given the number of deaths we have recorded, we are hoping to reduce the numbers such that the key fatality rate for the state is less than 10 percent; which is what the national expects from all of the state. For now, what we have is above that figure.” 

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has announced plans to launch a national de-ratisation framework to tackle the occurrence of Lassa fever in states that experience consistent annual outbreaks.

The Minister of State for Environment, Iziaq Salako said this on Monday in Abuja at a news conference on the outbreak of the Acute Viral Hemorrhagic Fever (VHF), suspected to be Lassa Fever, at 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital in Kaduna

In the briefing tagged “Health pillar towards mitigation, prevention and control of Lassa Fever in Nigeria”. Sadako said the ministry in response to the outbreak, had constituted a team and recommended that the facility be deratized to reduce the population of rats, which is the disease-carrying vector.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, the minister said the team also had a meeting with the Kaduna State emergency response team.

 “To combat the outbreak, the ministry implemented the following interventions under the Environmental Health Pillar:

“These include dispatch of vector wax block rodenticide to Kaduna for massive deratization of suspected facilities, activation of all environmental health personnel in the state for surveillance to identify rat infestations in communities, districts and wards, and report such cases for treatment/abatement and the compliance of all health and education facilities, hotels, restaurants, recreation facilities, markets, motor parks, and other public facilities in the state with the massive deratization exercise as a matter of regulation”.

Salako added that the Environmental Health Council (EHCON) and other environmental health authorities would issue deratisation certificates or exemptions to the facilities after the deratisation.

The Registrar of EHCON, Dr Yakubu Baba, expressed concern about the annual recurrence of Lassa fever in the country, but pledged that there would be a change in approach to tame the disease.

About author

You might also like

ECOWAS Centre for Disease Control takes off

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS0) today kicked-off its Regional Surveillance and Disease Control Centre (RCSDC)  in Nigeria. Operations of the centre began with the inaugural meeting of

World Diabetes Day: New IDF report reveals continued increase

Estimate shows 1 in 11 adults now live with diabetes – 10 million more cases than in 2015 Sanofi leads campaign in Nigeria with special walk, capacity building workshop for

NEWS 0 Comments

NGO pledges hearing loss screening, treatment for Nigerians

Marcus Fatunmole (Abuja) Relief is on the way for persons with hearing loss and related challenges in Nigeria as an international non-governmental organization, Starkey Hearing Foundation, has pledged to provide


No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply