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Lassa fever: Delta govt. directs screening of health workers


By Carol V. Utulu

Asaba – The Delta government has directed health workers in the state who had come in contact with suspected Lassa fever cases to as a matter of urgency undergo proper screening to contain the spread of the disease.

Dr Mordi Ononye, the Commissioner of Health gave the directive during a meeting of the state’s Emergency Operations Committee on Lassa fever on Thursday in Asaba.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the health commissioner had on Feb. 2, during a pidgin English public enlightenment programme “How Una See Am” revealed that the state had recorded eight cases with one death while 120 persons were placed under surveillance for the ailment.

Ononye said the state government would not allow the health of residents to be compromised because of the unprofessional attitude of some health workers to adhere to procedures.

He called on owners of health facilities and their workers handling Lassa fever cases to report to the Disease Surveillance and Notification Offices (DSNOs) in their domain and submit themselves for proper screening.

The commissioner said that any medical facility that had treated a confirmed Lassa fever case would be shut down for 48 hours and the premises decontaminated before such a facility would be reopened.

According to the commissioner, failure to do this will put such facility at a risk of spreading the disease.

He decried the situation where action(s) of a health worker would impede the efforts of the committee to contain the spread of the disease by refusing to adhere to instructions.

He lauded the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for sending a Rapid Response Team, led by Dr Belu Abaye, to Delta to render technical assistance.


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