Says many States not equipped to diagnose Lassa fever
By Chioma Obinna & Gabriel Olawale
The President of the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Dr. Francis Faduyile has warned that the Federal Government should ensure that there were no bottlenecks that mitigated against the emergency by ebola repeat itself
Faduyile also tasked the Federal government to equip all the Ports of Entry with up to date equipment and ensure that medical officers attend to people with a high sense of suspicion.
“The Federal government needs to do more at the entry points in such a way that they are well monitored by health officers so that anybody with a history of fever or respiratory infection is well investigated.
“Ebola was imported into Nigeria by Patrick Sawyer who created some havoc that led to the death of many people.
“Assuming our Ports were doing very well at that time, they might have stopped Sawyer from entering into this country and that would have saved Nigeria from that unnecessary emergency.
“Also, the full history of people arriving from countries where cases of coronavirus have been detected need to be properly followed up.
Many states not equipped to diagnose Lassa fever
Faduyile who also expressed concern over the level of awareness regarding Lassa fever said the government should raise the bar.
“First, the Personal Protective Equipment, PPE, is not readily available, so the government needs to put that in place.
“Our health workers need to be provided with the necessary equipment for them to be able to work effectively without being infected because the recent Lassa fever outbreak has already claimed the lives of two doctors as a result of contact with patients.
“Government needs to stock necessary drugs in every State so that those already diagnosed can be properly treated as early as possible because that is one of the determinants of treatment success.
“Early diagnoses and treatment are also important but it is regrettable that for now, most States are not well equipped to diagnose despite the fact that it takes about 48 to 72 hours before that diagnosis can be made which is a major contributor to treatment.
“Lassa fever is at its peak and one of the major reasons is bush burning because some of these animals have to run from their natural inhabitant to household. So the government needs to intensify awareness on causes of Lassa fever and also discourage people from bush burning.
“Nigerians need to do all the necessary things to ensure that those who have fever see a doctor as quickly as possible because Lassa fever is treatable if you report very early. All patients who have fever must quickly get to the hospital for treatment, those who are living around the bush should ensure a clean environment so that animals don’t have access to the food,” he remarked.