BY PETER OKUTU
ABAKALIKI — NO fewer than eight doctors, four nurses and five health workers were, yesterday, feared to have contacted Lassa fever after they participated in operating a pregnant woman at the Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki, FETHA.
The pregnant woman and her baby (names withheld) who later died few days after they were discharged from the hospital, were suspected to have died of the deadly disease.
At a press conference, the state Chairman of Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Dr. Chidi Esike, stated that the affected medical personnel had been moved to Specialist Hospital, Irrua, in Edo State for diagnosis and immediate medical attention.
According to him, the refusal of the Federal Government to provide a virology centre in the South East geopolitical zone of the country, in the face of overwhelming evidence of the need for such facility, had threatened the gains in the health sector.
He said: “The sad aspect of this whole saga is that since all these times that this woman and her child were managed with several doctors, nurses and all kinds of health workers exposed to the risk of the deadly Lassa fever virus, we are still suspecting that we have cases of Lassa fever in our land.
”It is not sheer insensitivity to the plight of not just the medical doctors, but also other health workers in Ebonyi State that today, 15th May, 2014, 17 health workers in the Federal TeachingHospital Abakaliki are suspected to be affected by Lassa fever; out of this number, we have eight doctors, four nurses, seven others have been rushed to Edo State for treatment.