OYSG disagrees with FG, says “Oyo is free of Lassa fever”
By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.
Oyo State Government has faulted Federal Government claim on the outbreak of Lassa fever with the pronouncement that the state is free of the dreaded fever.
Speaking through the State Director, Public Health, Ministry of Health, Dr. Olabode Ladipo, the government declared a child, who was receiving treatment at the University College Hospital, Ibadan suspected to have contacted the virus, disproved through series of blood tests.
According to the state government, the claim that some people died of Lassa fever in the state were mere speculations as there was no record of such with the state government.
“After tests were conducted on the girl’s blood sample, it was detected that the earlier fear was a mere scare. As of now, there is no active case of Lassa fever in the state. We are aware that other states are having cases of the virus but Oyo State is free because there are no recorded cases” she said.
The government however hinted that a measles vaccination for around 2.5m children is to commence in the state on January 28 and end on February 1, saying, “the exercise will target children from nine months to 59 months and only measles vaccine will be administered”.
“In 2015, 761 blood samples from children were taken to the laboratory as part of the state measles surveillance activity. We had 9.7 per cent of the number with negative result while 3.7 per cent tested positive to measles. The number of children who tested positive in 491 cases in 2014 was 2.2 per cent while in 2013, 15.3 per cent of 567 blood samples belonging to children tested positive to it. More cases were recorded in Ibadan North West last year according to statistics”.
Speaking, the WHO Measles Campaign Consultant, Mr Adamu Bello declared that 15, 708 personnel, grouped into 2, 244 teams, are to be involved in the exercise with the rate of success in most vaccination was 85 per cent, with the rest having to be subjected to a second chance.
“The first two days of the campaign will concentrate on primary schools and communities while the final day will focus on reaching out to houses in the states. Measles remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Nigeria but globally, between 2000 and 2011, deaths from the virus have declined from 542,000 to 156,000. Vaccination is less than 100 per cent effective but the younger the age of the infant, the less effective the vaccine,” he said.