No Lassa Fever In FCT, But Minister Meets Medical Experts  

FCT Minister, Malam Musa Bello has declared that there is no confirmed case of Lassa Fever in the territory.

He made the statement during an emergency meeting of medical experts and senior members of the FCT Administration convened by the Minister.

Mr Anthony Ogunleye, Chief Press Secretary to the Minister, made this known in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

Bello said the aim of the meeting was to ascertain the status of the FCT following the outbreak of lassa fever in some neighboring states.

He also said that the meeting was convened to assess the level of preparedness of the FCT Health Authorities to tackle a possible outbreak of the disease in the territory.

The minister said that the FCT had good medical facilities, adding that an outbreak could be an indictment, especially if it was not effectively managed or curtailed.

Bello, who expressed relief that there was no known case of the disease in the FCT, urged medical experts to be prepared to forestall any outbreak, be it Lassa Fever or the Coronavirus.

He also stressed the need for Area Councils chairmen to be actively involved in the planning and execution of prevention and treatment programmes.

According to him, a possible outbreak will most likely impact more at the area councils.

He urged the experts to synergize efforts for optimum results and called on residents to take all necessary preventive measures to avoid contracting the deadly disease.

Similarly, the minister enjoined health workers in the FCT to follow all protection protocols to avoid getting infected.

Musa-Bello directed the release of additional vehicles for the use of the Department of Public Health for the purpose of the Lassa Fever prevention campaign.

He also directed all stakeholders to hold regular meetings “even when there are no visible threats so as to perfect plans for a foolproof mechanism to handle the breakout of any infectious disease.

” Even after this is over, the same group of stakeholders should be meeting regularly to see what has been done and what needs to be done.

” So that we don’t really have to wait to have any situation like the one at hand to start discussing as to what we need to do”.

The FCT Director of Public Health, Dr Josephine Okechukwu said they would remain on high alert, adding that already disease surveillance and monitoring officers had been trained and provided with motorcycles to intensify surveillance in rural communities.

She added that the reference laboratory in Gaduwa was fully functional for proper diagnosis of any suspected case of the disease.

Okechucwu explained that Lassa Fever was a disease caused by lack of proper hygiene and advised FCT residents to ensure that their homes and environments were free of rats which are known to be carriers of the disease.

The director said that awareness campaigns had been intensified on ways of preventing the disease and strongly advised against self medication.

According to her, anyone feeling unwell should immediately seek medical attention.

On his part, Dr Yunusa Tahir, Chairman, Infection Prevention and Control Committee, University Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, called on all medical personnel to work together and be prepared in case of an outbreak.

He called on the FCTA to provide a treatment centre to handle any confirmed case of the disease in the territory.

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