Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - Nigeria's federal government has inaugurated a Lassa fever Rapid Response Committee in an attempt to curtail the spread of the disease which has killed 40 people in 12 of the country's 36 states in recent times.
The private Vanguard newspaper reported on Friday that the committee, which was inaugurated by the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate, in the capital city of Abuja Thursday, is chaired by Prof. Sunday Aremu Omilabu of the Lagos University Teaching
The minister said the federal government was concerned about the danger of Lassa fever in Nigeria, hence the decision to set up the committee.
“Government would continued to support the treatment of all reported Lassa fever cases with prompt preposition of ribaviring drugs and personal protective equipment. This year (2012) 500,000 vials of the ribavirin drugs were procured and distributed to the affected states,'' he said.
The committee will provide technical expertise to avoid further outbreak, and it will also come up with standard treatment protocol and guidelines for management of Lassa fever, develop standard operating procedures on infection control in hospitals and mobilise
resources for prevention and control of the disease.
It will also coordinate intervention activities on prevention and control of the disease.
Lassa fever, an acute viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus, is transmitted by contact with the faeces or urine of the rodent, the animal host of the Lassa virus.
-0- PANA SEG 24Feb2012