Home News NMA In Bauchi State Worries About Lassa Fever Transmission Among Health Workers

NMA In Bauchi State Worries About Lassa Fever Transmission Among Health Workers


By Amina Ahmed

Bauchi, – The Bauchi State branch of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), conducted a one-day sensitisation on Lassa fever for its members on Sunday.

It centered on Lassa fever infection and transmission among health workers.

Bauchi State recorded 1,106 suspected cases of Lassa fever in 2022, 162 of which were confirmed.

Dr Mahmud Maigari of the Department of Internal Medicine, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH), Bauchi, told the sensitisation session that 34 of the confirmed cases were recorded among health workers.

He said women accounted for 51.2 per cent of the cases, while neb accounted for 48.8 per cent.

He noted that in 2022, Lassa fever patients based on occupation were mostly farmers, amounting to 54 cases in crop production and in animal husbandry.

Speaking on infection prevention and control, Dr Biodun Ogunniyi, Assistant Director, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), said more than 60 per cent of infectious diseases could be reduced through hand hygiene.

He said that to break the link of transmission of infectious diseases, health workers should use the core components of protection.

Ogunniyi listed use of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), isolation precaution and decontamination of water as some components to be employed against transmission.

In his contribution, Dr Jibrin Yusuf, Chief Medical Director, ATBUTH, said that the hospital would introduce rewards and sanctions for the use of PPE and other protocols among health personnel.

He said five health workers had already been infected with Lassa fever in the hospital in 2023.

“ATBUTH will introduce rewards and assign schedules among staff to monitor personnel using their PPE from the gate and till close of work.

“This is part of motivation to reduce the burden of infection on health workers,’’ he said.

Dr Jamila Suleiman, a 2014 Lassa fever survivor and employee of ATBUTH confirmed that not using the PPE was the cause of her infection.

She said that lessons must be learnt on ways to mitigate the transmission of Lassa fever.

She expressed regrets that some of her colleagues lost their lives to Lassa fever in the line of duty

The sensitisation session was held with support from Breakthrough Nigeria (BA-N), an NGO.

Earlier, BA-N Coordinator in Bauchi State, Mr Usman Mohammed, said the NGO, with funding from USAID creates demand and awareness on health care services.

He assured that BA-N would continue support activities in Bauchi State to improve healthcare delivery.

NMA Secretary in Bauchi State, Dr Abdullahi Kabir, said at the session that Lassa fever was chosen to remind health workers on best practices considering the fact that the fever is prevalent between December and April. (NAN)

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