Lassa Fever: Kwara govt, NAS disagree over deaths


The Kwara State Chairman, Medical Outreach, National Association of Seadogs (NAS), Mr. Tunde Dairo and the state government have disagreed over alleged deaths as a result of outbreak of Lassa fever in Ifelodun Local Government Area of the state.

According to Dairo, hree people died in the local government as a result of the outbreak adding that 11 people had also lost their lives nationwide.

While speaking with journalists on Saturday during the group’s Lassa fever sensitisation in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, Dairo called on organisations and individuals to partner the government to address the disease.

He added that the group went to many streets and markets to create awareness about the disease, its control and preventive measures.

Dairo called on the public to maintain good hygiene to drive away rodents, which he noted were the primary carriers of the disease.

He said, “The essence of the campaign is to create awareness on Lassa fever in the state because we have been hearing cases of it even though it is not in a place. We decided to enlighten the public that good hygiene would help us manage the disease.

“The statistics of death from Lassa fever is three in Ifelodun LGA of Kwara and 11 in Nigeria. Blood specimen was sent to the virology laboratory in Oshodi, Lagos, confirming two cases at Babani village in Agunjin district and a case at Oro-Ago, all in Ifelodun LGA about a month ago. They all tested positive to Lassa fever and have all died. There is no case yet in Ilorin but we feel compelled to nip it in the bud before it spreads all over.

“The preventive method is that people should avoid contact with rodents, which is the primary source of infection. When caring for infected people, they should wear protective clothing because they can easily contact it through droppings and body fluids. We need to sensitise the public on how to keep rodents from their houses.

“The government is doing its best. The government cannot do it all. The masses should be actively involved.”

Reacting, the Kwara State Commissioner for Health, Alhaji Sulaiman Alege denied any death resulting from Lassa fever.

Alege, maintained that the 10-year-old boy who the state government reported had been diagnosed with the disease was still alive.

He added that 94 people had been quarantined in Babanla, Ifelodun LGA, including the parents of the boy and others that had contact with the victim.

Alege, while commending the sensitisation efforts of the group, said the state Ministry of Health, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the Federal Ministry of Health are the only appropriate authorities to declare the mortality rate of any disease.


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