No confirmed cases of Lassa fever in Abuja ― FCT minister

The Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammed Musa Bello has disclosed that there was no confirmed case of Lassa fever in the territory.

This was revealed in Abuja during an emergency meeting of medical experts and senior members of the FCT administration convened by the minister to ascertain the status of the FCT, following Lassa fever outbreaks in some neighbouring states.

The meeting, according to the minister, was also aimed to prepare the FCT Health Authorities to tackle a possible outbreak of the disease in the territory.

Addressing the gathering, the minister stressed that the FCT had good medical facilities, adding that an outbreak could be an indictment on the health care, especially if it is uncontained and not effectively managed.

He called on the medical experts to be prepared to forestall any outbreak, be it Lassa Fever or the Coronavirus.

The minister stressed the need for Area Council Chairmen to be actively involved in the planning and execution of prevention and treatment programmes since a possible outbreak would most likely impact more in the grassroots areas of the Area Councils.

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Malam Bello also urged the experts to synergize all their efforts for optimum results, calling on residents to take all necessary preventive measures to avoid contracting the deadly disease.

While urging all health workers to follow all protection protocols to avoid getting infected, Malam Bello directed the release of additional vehicles for the use of the Department of Public Health for the purpose of the Lassa Fever prevention campaign.

He, therefore, directed that all stakeholders should hold regular meetings even when there are no visible threats so as to perfect plans for a foolproof mechanism to handle the breakout of any infectious disease.

“Even after this is over, the same group of stakeholders should be meeting regularly to see what has been done and what needs to be done so that we don’t really have to wait to have any situation like the one at hand to start discussing as to what we need to do.” He added.

Speaking on the preparedness of the FCT for any possible outbreak of Lassa Fever, the Director of Public Health, Dr Josephine Okechukwu stressed that even though there was no identified case of Lassa fever in the territory, the administration will remain on high alert as long as there could be a possibility of a breakout occasioned by reported cases of the disease in neighbouring states.

Dr Okechukwu said already disease surveillance and monitoring officers have been trained and have received the support of motorcycles to intensify surveillance in the rural communities, adding that the reference laboratory in Gaduwa is fully functional to investigate blood samples for proper diagnosis of any suspected case of the disease.

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