Senators worry as Lassa fever spreads to 14 states

• Asks ministry, others to move against disease
• Edo procures N100m equipment for treatment

The Senate yesterday lamented that the outbreak of Lassa fever had spread to 14 states. The upper chamber listed the affected states as Edo, Ondo, Ebonyi, Nasarawa, Imo, Kogi, Bauchi, Anambra, Benue, Federal Capital Teritory, Abia, Ekiti and Delta.

“Cases in the national outbreak of the disease which was first recorded on the 5th of January, 2018, have risen to 363 as against the lesser number recorded in previous years,” the lawmakers added Out of the 363 cases, 81 persons have tested positive while 44 have been admitted at the Institute of Lassa fever Research and Control, Irrua Teaching Hospital, Edo State. About 11 deaths have been recorded, of which three are health workers.

Adopting a motion sponsored by Clifford Ordia (PDP, Edo State) yesterday, the Senate mandated its committees of Health (Secondary & Tertiary) and Primary Health Care & Communicable Diseases to investigate steps taken by the Ministry of Health to cub the spread of the disease.

It urged the Federal Government through the Ministry of Health to urgently provide the center with all necessary equipment to enable it meet its responsibilities to Nigerians seeking medical care at the point.The lawmakers urged the Ministry of Information and National Orientation to sensitise and educate the public on the prevention, control and treatment of Lassa fever.

The upper chamber urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to quickly visit the center in Irrua Specialist Hospital for on-the-spot assessment, with a view to providing relief material to the victims.

Meanwhile, the Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, has ordered the immediate release of N100 million as first tranche payment for procurement of four dialysis machines, ventilators, personal protective quipment, drugs and other consumables required for the treatment of Lassa fever patients.

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Lassa fever
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