Two people including a pregnant woman have died of Lassa fever in Enugu State while the disease is reported to have spread to Nasarawa State.
The pregnant woman was said to have reported very late to hospital. Six suspected cases were reported out of which three were confirmed in Enugu. But the third victim, said to be a 24-year-old female youth corps member who reportedly returned from Benue State, survived the attack and is responding to treatment.
This was disclosed at a press conference addressed by the Enugu State ministries of Information, Health, Education, Water Resources and Agriculture yesterday in Enugu.
The Commissioner for Information, Chidi Aroh, assured that the state government was conscious of the spread and was taking necessary steps to protect the people.
He said: “Jingles are being run on radio and television for enlightenment while leaflets on how to prevent the fever have been printed and are being distributed across the state. “Government has purchased all required materials and equipment to fight the scourge as well as providing emergency facilities in the event of any noticed occurrence in any part of the state.”
He disclosed that apart from the 11 government hospitals mapped out for emergency, nine private hospitals have been added as emergency facilities, bringing the total to 20 hospitals across the state.
In a related development, the Nasarawa State Commissioner for Health, Pharmacist Ahmed Baba Yahaya, yesterday said apart from Lassa fever, five other tropical diseases had been reported in the state. The Lassa fever patients, he said, had been quarantined and are under observation.
According to him, the other diseases include Onchocerciasis, Lymphatic Filariasis, Schistosomiasis, Trachoma and soil transmitted helminthes, affecting the 13 local government areas of the state.
The commissioner further disclosed that the state is also hit by Dengue fever, Buruli ulcer, yaws, Leishmaniasis, human and animal Trypanosomiasis, rabies, leprosy, snake bites, guinea worm and mycetoma, the mapping of which is yet to be carried out.
Yahaya said in order to stem these diseases, the state government with the support of the Carter Center, had trained 45 local integrated health team members, 611 community directed distributors, 2,153 teachers, 42 school supervisors and seven social mobilisation officers.
He said state had received 502,700 tablets of mebendazoles and 194,984 tablets of praziquantel drugs from the Federal Ministry of Health.