The World Health Organisation (WHO) has disclosed that, as part of efforts to contain the Lassa Fever Outbreak, it was supporting the Nigerian Government to coordinate technical assistance and operational support of partners including deployment of OneHealth Rapid Response Teams (NRRTs) to Local Government Areas affected by Lassa Fever.
WHO made the disclosure on Thursday, March 17, 2022.
TheFact Nigeria gathered that many people in the country were still ignorant of Lassa Fever, hence the need for more sensitisation about the disease.
WHO said in it’s bid to combat this year’s outbreak, it had mobilised experts to intervene in investigations, contact tracing and risk communication.
It also added that plans were underway to strengthen efforts to further assist Nigeria in controlling the outbreak.
Speaking on Lassa Fever transmission among health workers, Dr. Ekaete Tobin, said:
“The major cause responsible for the transmission of Lassa fever among health care workers is the poor compliance with IPC measures”.
Dr. Tobin said WHO has been invaluable in protecting the Lassa fever ward staff by providing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).
“The disinfectants and waste management commodities have greatly enabled environmental cleaning and waste segregation, ” he added.
Additional to Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs), WHO donated coveralls, facemasks, face shields, hand sanitizers, and bin liners to Irua Specialist Teaching Hospital, ISTH (which serves as Lassa virus testing laboratory and case management centre).
As part of the response to contain the outbreak, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), closely working with the World Health Organisation and partners has activated a national Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to coordinate response activities at all levels.
Lassa fever is transmitted when an uninfected person come in contact with the infected person’s body fluid.
Lassa fever, endemic in Nigeria, has infected 540 people in 21 states and the FCT since the beginning of the year.
As at 27 February 2022, 73% of the cases are from three states Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi. Other States affected are Benue, Taraba, Kogi, Oyo, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Plateau, Cross River, Katsina, Plateau, Nasarawa, Gombe, Kogi, Enugu and Delta.
Cases of Lassa fever often increase during the dry season, between November and May.