Niyi Odebode, Friday Olokor and Samuel Awoyinfa
The Federal Government has warned hospitals in the country against treating malaria without diagnosis.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, who stated this at a press conference in Abuja, explained that Lassa fever killed a nurse and a patient at the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta.
The minister, also in a statement on Friday by the ministry’s spokesperson, Mrs. Boade Akinola, allayed fears on the existence of plastic rice in the country.
Saying that the claim could not be substantiated, Adewole urged Nigerians to check the address of the manufacturer, production date, expiry date and the batch number and registration number given by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control on all regulated products.
He, however, urged Nigerians to buy locally-produced rice, saying it was healthier.
On the resurgence of Lassa fever, he described the situation in the FMC Abeokuta as worrisome.
Adewole said, “We thought Lassa fever was gone until we recorded one or two cases which turned out sour. The one in Abeokuta was particularly worrisome. The nurse (who died) spent almost two weeks in the hospital and they did not even think of it (as Lassa fever) and that created a big problem because we need to now monitor about 350 people, who came in contact with that nurse.
“They thought it was malaria, when she did not respond to treatment, they gave her antibiotics. They moved her to the Intensive Care Unit. And because she was a nurse, they never thought of Lassa fever.
“It is unfortunate. We will continue the sensitisation. Even if the patient is a bishop, it (the disease) can be Lassa fever. When we launched malaria programme, we said nobody should treat malaria without diagnosis.”
The Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Babatunde Ipaye, said that 396 people who had primary and secondary contacts with the late assistant Chief Nursing Officer of the FMC, Abeokuta, Abolanle Adesuyi, who died from Lassa fever last Sunday, had been traced and placed under surveillance.
Ipaye, however, said none of the contacts had shown abnormal temperature since their monitoring began.
He said, “All the 396 contacts have not shown any abnormal symptoms or signs of Lassa fever.” (Punchng.com)