Panic As Lassa Fever Patient Escapes From Hospital

A patient currently undergoing treatment at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital in Edo state has escaped from the facility.

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The minister of health, Professor Isaac Adewole made the disclosure while inaugurating the Lassa Fever Eradication Committee in Abuja on Tuesday, January 19.

He ordered the immediate tracing and readmission of the patient who allegedly escaped with other patients at the health care center.

He said: “I have just been informed that a patient who is currently undergoing treatment at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital in Edo state had escaped. I want to charge all concerned to ensure that him and other who escaped from the centre are traced and returned back. Health woekers must also assure these patients that they will be well,” he added.

Prof Adewole blamed the outbreak of Lassa fever in some states on the failure of the surveillance system in Nigeria.

The committee inaugurated by the minister is headed by the president, Nigerian Academy of Science, Prof. Oyewale Tomori, is saddled with the responsibility of advising the federal government on the way forward as regards eradication of the virus from Nigeria.

The minister stated that the federal government had began plans to construct at least 1000 primary healthcare centers across the country within the next one year.

He noted that the centers which would be built according to international standards with borehole and solar power system in each of the facility.

Adewole who pledged the support of the federal government through the provision of funds however advised on judicious use of all resources by members of the committee.

Speaking at the event, the project director, Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Abdulsami Nasidi noted that most of the suspected cases have tested negative to the Lassa Fever Virus.

He maintained that at least two laboratories should test a patient before he is confirmed to have been infected with the virus.

It will be recalled that the minister recently confirmed the spread of the Lassa fever virus in 17 states and 62 local government areas in Nigeria.

In a related development, the Benue state government has directed people in the state to desist from eating rats for the meantime.

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