From Noah Ocheni, Lokoja
The Chairman Nigeria Medical Association of Nigeria (NMA), Kogi chapter, Dr. Kabiru Zubair on Thursday said that twenty-seven confirmed cases of Lassa Fever disease from nine local government areas of Kogi State have been reported by the state epidemiologist.
Dr. Zubair who stated this in a press statement issued on Thursday pointed out that no case of COVID-19 has been recorded in Kogi State as at March 25, 2020.
The association noted that Kogi has not recorded any case of COVID-19, despite its vulnerability as it bordered by 10 states and FCT as well as serving as a major transit point between the North and Southern States.
Zubair, therefore, advised the state and federal governments to sustain the high level preventive measures to curb the deadly virus 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 its sensitisation on preventive measures against Lassa fever and managing cases of Lassa fever patients at the state’s treatment centre in Kogi State Specialist Hospital (KSSH), Lokoja.
”The NMA in Kogi in line with directive from her national body hereby issue a press statement in respect of the ongoing containment exercise of the dual outbreak of infections cause by Lassa Fever virus and Coronavirus.
This according to the statement is 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 at March 25, 2020.
”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,”
Zubair also used the opportunity to remind the Kogi Government on the need to implement corrected CONMESS for state doctors as well increase the hazard allowance of healthcare workers in order to attract and keep them.