By; RALPH OKHIRIA, Benin City
In a proactive response to the outbreak of Lassa Fever in Edo State, the state government has commenced the installation of two dialysis machines, ventilators, x-ray machine, and has procured Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), drugs and other consumables required for the treatment of Lassa Fever patients.
The installation of the equipment is ongoing at the Institute of Lassa Fever Research and Control, at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH), Edo State, which is the only specialist facility for the treatment of the disease in the West Africa sub-region.
The installed equipment form part of the first phase of Edo State government-led revamp of the facility to provide adequate and prompt response to the recent outbreak of Lassa Fever in Nigeria.
Recall that the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki ordered the immediate release of N100 million for the procurement of four dialysis machines and other equipment and consumables to treat Lassa Fever patients in the state.
In a separate development, the National Council on Health (NCH) in a meeting on Monday, February 5, 2018, commended Edo State Government’s proactiveness in containing the disease, lauding the state for her “commitment to outbreaks preparedness and response.”
According to the Minister of State, Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, “The NCH hopes to achieve better cooperation and coordination with the Edo State Government in responding to disease outbreaks.”
When the outbreak was reported, the state government reactivated its Rapid Response Team for contact tracing of confirmed cases.
It also intensified Lassa Fever awareness campaign in all nooks and crannies of the state, through Offices of the Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy to the Governor, Mr. Crusoe Osagie and the Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Paul Ohonbamu.
According to the state commissioner for Health, Hon. David Osifo, “The state government adopted multisectoral approach involving the Ministries of Health, Environment, Agriculture, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and Information, to halt the further spread of the outbreak.”