Lassa Fever kills 50 people in Ondo – Reports

Lassa Fever kills 50 people in Ondo - Reports

News reports have revealed widespread panic in Ondo State after 50 deaths were recorded over Lassa Fever in the state.

According to the reports, the residents of the state, as well as the medical practitioners, are worried.

Recall that a resurfacing of the endemic disease had been reported by Daily Post weeks ago.

The disease has now found its way to Akure, Ondo State, shortly after reports of the disease breaking out in the towns bordering the state.

Sources at the Federal Medical Center, FMC, Owo, have revealed that the state government is not doing enough to curb the spread of the disease.

A medical practitioner at the health facility revealed that the situation is almost beyond control adding that they have run out of space at the isolation ward where these patients are being treated.

Pleading anonymity, the source also revealed how a Lassa Fever patient “mysteriously” disappeared from the hospital.

She blamed the incident on the negligence of some of her colleagues.

“What we currently facing, is quite beyond what anyone would ever imagine.

“Almost all the patients in the isolation ward are those that have contracted Lassa fever and most of the reported cases are from the border communities within Ose Local Government area of the state.

“It’s quite sad how the state government is not even attending to the situation.

“Citizens are dying from preventable disease, but the government is not showing any concern at all.”

Another source from the state Ministry of Heath, who pleaded anonymity, worried over the fact that a state of emergency was yet to be called within the health sector.

Another doctor called the governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, out for doing little to combat the spread of the disease, blaming it on his lackadaisical attitude.

“From the ministry here, we have approached the governor, on the need to urgently arrest the situation but he his not seeing it that way.

“He claims there are no funds to spend on the medical needs of these people (Lassa fever patient) but let’s be frank with ourselves, all those money being spent on political activities in the state, where are they coming from?

“I believe it is high time our political leaders started to set their priorities right. Because in the real sense of it, it’s those that will vote for them that are dying so cheaply.

“You won’t believe that as terrible as the situation is at present, there’s no single sensitization or awareness going on in the state as regards the outbreak, all in the name of that there is no fund.

“Even for the outbreak to effectively contained, schools within the affected communities should have been shut with intensive awareness taken to marketplaces, churches, mosques, and other public places.

“It will interest you to know that health workers might down tools if anyone of us is affected.

The Nation reports that the State Commissioner Of Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro, insisted on the fact it would take the combined effort of stakeholders to fight the disease as the state would be unable to handle the situation on its own.

He revealed that it cost about N1.2m to treat one Lassa patient, which was far too high for the state to afford considering the number of people infected.

Dr. Adegbenro called on the chairmen representing the affected Local Government Areas in the State, Security Agencies, Development Partners and all other stakeholders to come up with strategies to help combat the disease.

The Ondo State Epidemiologist, Dr. Stephen Fagbemi, recalled that during the last outbreak of Lassa Fever, 27 states were affected with Ondo And Edo topping the list.

They reportedly accounted for 80 percent of the affected including the mortalities.

In his words, Dr Olalekan Ojo of the Federal Medical Center, Owo, noted that there are more patients affected than any other state in Nigeria ”and the whole budget of the state cannot handle”

He also said that FMC Owo, is unable to keep up with the ever growing number of cases due to lack of manpower and funds.


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