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Nigeria's former Health Minister, Prof. Isaac Adewole

Breaking: Gombe placed on red alert over lassa fever – State’s Epidemiologist  

Nigeria’s Health Minister, Prof. Isaac Adewole

Gombe State Epidemiologist, Dr. Nuhu Bile, says the State has been placed on red alert following the death of one person out of five confirmed cases of the the lassa fever disease recorded recently in the State.

The four survivors have been treated and discharged after their blood samples were collected and screened. It was also gathered that only one out of the five affected persons resides in Gombe State as three of them are from Taraba State.
By this development, the State’s Epidemiologist says health officials have been asked not to take any chance on any suspected case that could be discovered in the State.
Dr. Bile, who stated this during an interactive/sensitization meeting with journalists in the State, stressed that “surveillance officers across the State have been put on alert. Clinicians have been alerted to have high index of suspicion for VHF”.
According to him, medical supplies for management of VHF have been positioned in the three senatorial districts of the State to check the recurrence of the disease.
He said, the recorded cases occurred between January and March 2019 and that updating of lists for cases and contacts is ongoing even as information on all cases is being shared with NCDC.
Other measures employed to check the recurrence of the disease in the State include sensitization meetings in communities that recorded the confirmed cases as well as ongoing media engagement on radio and television stations for mass sensitization in the State.
Dr. Bile however regretted the poor knowledge on management of VHF among health workers in the State, depleted reserves of ribavirin, PPE and disinfectants, scarcity of resources hampering scaling up of response activities especially community engagement activities and intensified surveillance among others.
Already, isolation centers at the Federal Teaching Hospital Gombe and the Gombe State Specialist Hospital have been working harmoniously with the coordination of the Epidemiology unit of the Gombe State Ministry of Health.
While the State Epidemiologist Preparedness Response Team (EPRC) met on 18 December, 2018, another meeting is scheduled for this April while a State wide social mobilization by visiting the 16 first class traditional rulers to strengthen community engagement activities for public awareness on the disease is currently ongoing.

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