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UPTH Adopts Proactive Measures To Manage LASSA Fever Outbreak

The Management of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, through its Infectious Disease Control Team has begun a three-day sensitization compaign for Clinical and Non-Clinical staff of the Hospital.

This is a proactive measure adopted as the Hospital remains open to all patient disease cases, to aid readiness to treatment and break the chain of spread.

The campaign championed by Professor O. Obunge, Dr. Datonye Alasia, and Dr. Omosevie Maduka, bordered on Screening, case notification, reporting, isolation and treatment/management of LASSA fever.

LASSA Fever is said to be in the class of Viral Hemorrhage Fever, an epidemic in the West African region traced to be the origin of the virus.

 In Nigeria, cases have continuously been reported especially in Edo, Ondo, Ebonyi etc. with primary transmission from multi-mammate rats, and second transmission from human to human.

Emphasis was for health officials to maintain Universal Safety  Precautions to curtail the scourge of spread.  Meanwhile Prof. Obunge advised that any confirmed cases could only be made public by the Commissioner of Health and as such all other information on outbreak from the onset should be disregarded.

In course of the session, participants were once more put through the basics of proper hand washing, appropriate use of gloves and face masks.

Dr. Emmanuel Ocheli  who represented the Chief Medical Director in his brief remarks  to open the session, said the sensitization is to ensure collaboration to protect staff and the public. At the end of the session, Dr. Richard Oko-Jaja emphasised the Management’s  commitment to respond to challenges as raised by participants.

 The Nigeria Center for Disease Control on the 24th of January 2020 reported the outbreak of LASSA Fever across 11 states with 195 confirmed cases and 29 deaths.

Event covered by: Meni Elabha

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