The Nigeria Medical Association of Nigeria (NMA), Kogi chapter, on Thursday said that 27 confirmed cases of Lassa Fever disease from nine local government areas of Kogi State have been reported by the state epidemiologist.
This was contained in a press statement issued on Thursday by the NMA Chairman in Kogi, Dr Kabiru Zubair.
According to him, no case of COVID-19 has been recorded in the state as of March 25, 2020.
The association noted that even though Kogi has not recorded any case of COVID-19, but is bordered by 10 states and FCT as well as serve as a major transit point between the North and Southern States is vulnerable at this time.
Zubair, therefore, advised the state and federal governments to continue to do more with respect to preventive measures, noting that the healthcare system was too fragile to withstand major outbreaks of infections as caused by COVID-19.
He urged the state government to improve her level of preparedness as no state was immune to the dreaded disease, adding that the proposed isolation centre should be urgently put in place and equipped with relevant medical gadgets such as ventilators.
He stressed that Personal Protective Equipment(PPE) should be made available to healthcare workers while urging the state to set up and train a management team that could be confident in handling cases of COVID-19.
He commended Kogi government’s efforts in managing cases of Lassa fever patients at the state’s treatment centre in Kogi State Specialist Hospital (KSSH), Lokoja.
He also praised the government for the ongoing sensitisation on preventive measures against Lassa fever and the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) across the state.
”The NMA in Kogi in line with the directive from her national body hereby issue a press statement in respect of the ongoing containment exercise of the dual outbreak of infections caused by Lassa Fever virus and coronavirus.
”This is especially important because of increasing incidence of Lassa fever cases reported in Kogi as well as the confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our neighbouring states.
”So far, 27 confirmed cases of Lassa Fever disease from nine local government areas have been reported by the state epidemiologist. However, no case of COVID-19 has been recorded in the state as of March 25, 2020.
”The NMA wishes to commend the effort of the Kogi government so far with respect to case management of Lassa Fever Patients at the treatment centre in Kogi Specialist Hospital, Lokoja, as well as the ongoing sensitisation on preventive measures against it.
”The NMA is aware of some proactive measures taken by Kogi government so far, such as shutting down of schools and public gathering with effect from March 23, and the ongoing sensitisation of the general public on preventive measures against the scourge,” he said.
Zubair also used the opportunity to remind the Kogi government on the need to implement corrected CONMESS for state doctors as well as increase the hazard allowance of healthcare workers in order to attract and keep them.
”On a final note, the NMA wishes to urge all her members as well as the general public to heed the advice of the government and healthcare providers on all the preventive measures,” Zubair said.