By Asma’u Ahmad
The Kogi State Government said it has established a bio-safety laboratory for the investigation of suspected Lassa fever cases.
Governor Yahaya Bello states this in a speech at a one-day sensitisation meeting with traditional rulers and other stakeholders.
He said that the state had also set up a treatment centre for the disease located at the Kogi Specialist Hospital, Lokoja. The governor disclosed that the centre had successfully treated and discharged three patients, out of the five confirmed cases of Lassa Fever, from January 2019 till date.
Newsmen report that the meeting, which was organised by the health ministry in collaboration with World Health Organisation (WHO), focused on strengthening Lassa Fever surveillance, routine Immunization and primary health care. It also discussed flood mitigation and related issues.
Represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Edward Onoja, Bello expressed happiness that Lassa Fever cases were being treated in the state, saying that 100 per cent success had been recorded in the management of the ailment.
Bello said that government was committed to delivering quality healthcare through timely release of funds and deployment of relevant manpower to curb outbreak of diseases.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Audu, in a remark, said that government had made concerted efforts to mitigate Lassa Fever and other epidemics in the state.
Mr Kennedy Adejoh, the WHO Coordinator in Kogi, said that the sensitisation was to build on what had been done so as to reduce the incidences of flood and also minimise impacts when it occurs.
He said that the status of Routine Immunization in Kogi had increased from 38.5 in 2016 to 68 per cent as at the end of first quarter of 2019, but called for improvement to meet the 90 per cent stipulated immunisation coverage by the WHO.
Dr Austin Ojoule, the state epidemiologist, said that a total of 12 confirmed cases of Lassa Fever were recorded in 2018, compared to five confirmed cases in 2019. Of the five, three were successfully treated and discharged, he added.