A medical doctor and two persons have died of Lassa fever in Anambra State, the director of Public Health, Anambra Ministry of Health, Emmanuel Okafor, said on Thursday.
The director confirmed the report at a one-day workshop on Lassa fever organised by the ministry to sensitise health professionals in the state on the disease in Awka.
He however said the outbreak was not yet at an epidemic proportion in the state.
Mr. Okafor said the workshop was aimed at training the health professionals who would go to the grassroots to educate the people on the prevention of the disease.
“In Anambra, we don’t know the number of cases of the disease but we have three confirmed deaths,’’ he said.
He urged health workers to exercise high standard of professionalism in handling Lassa fever cases.
Mr. Okafor said the state government had put in place measures to handle the scourge.
Speaking earlier, Jane Ezeonu, a resource person at the workshop, said that the medical doctor died three days ago at the Nnamdi Azikiwe General Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi.
She said the late medical doctor was referred to NAUTH from Asaba, Delta state.
Ms. Ezeonu warned people against drinking garri (cassava flour), advising residents to ensure protection of their food and related items from rats.
“People don’t acquire immunity after suffering from Lassa fever. General hygiene is the key for prevention,’’ Ms. Ezeonu said.
Also speaking at the occasion, Okwuchukwu Chukwuka, Permanent Secretary, in the ministry, said there was no epidemic of the disease in the state.
Mr. Chukwuka, who represented the Commissioner for Health, Josephat Akabuike, said the workshop was part of the proactive measures adopted by the state government.
“It is a training workshop for health professionals in the 21 local government areas of the state who would sensitise and disseminate information about Lassa fever to the grassroots.
“We are having the workshop for prevention, not that we have an epidemic in the state,” Mr. Chukwuka said. (NAN)
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