Minister of Health, Prof.Issac Adewole, has confirmed the spread of the Lassa Fever virus disease across 17 states in Nigeria.
He made this known in Abuja, Tuesday, at the emergency national council of health meeting with state Commissioners of Health and other stake- holders in the health sector.
Describing the current out-break as a national embarrassment, Adewole debunked rumours in some quarters that the disease was a “gimmick to get money from the government.
He said: “I want to tell all Nigerians that the Lassa fever disease is real because there is a lot of denial in the country.
“The virus has extended to 17 states, affected 62 local government areas and 212 suspected cases within 9 weeks in Nigeria”
Adewole warned against the conspiracy of silence in some states. This is, he said, was because they recorded five unreported cases of Lassa fever and one death in Ebonyi state. And the state governor got angry.
“Healthcare managers should not deceive their political leaders that all is well. All states should consider themselves at risk,” he added.
“We also want to alert all health professionals in the country that they should report any case. I have described the outbreak as a national embarrassment. We can manage embarrassment, but when we allow another outbreak to occur in August this year, it will become a national shame to all of us. One of the things we will do to prevent us from dragging this nation into shame is to stamp out Lassa Fever.”
The States affected include, Niger, Bauchi, Kano, Edo, Nassarawa, Borno, Kogi, Oyo, Taraba, Plateau, Ondo, Ebonyi, Ogun, Rivers, Ogun, Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Let us to be honest with ourselves, all states should consider themselves at risk and please, put up measures to contain, prevent and reassure the community that we are on top of the situation,” he announced.
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