In Anambra, government is warning its residents on Garri while in Kogi, doctors are warning each other
As Lassa fever makes an aggressive return to Nigeria, it continues to claim citizens’ lives even as government health ministry and agencies continue to assert that the outbreak is under control. While coming to terms that the disease is a potent threat to residents is a major step, several states and governments are already taking it upon themselves to protect their residents. They include Anambra and Kogi state.
While Anambra’s efforts are championed by the government, medical professionals in Kogi state are having their personal Lassa fever moments following the death of one of their colleagues that contracted the disease while on duty.
Stop taking Garri
“That garri you see spread along the highway while you are traveling is very risky to consume, especially when you drink it and it is better and surer consuming the ones you prepared yourself,” said Anambra state’s health commissioner, Dr. Joe Akabuike, while announcing the ban on the consumption of uncooked garri in the state.
The commissioner confirmed that the state is taking steps to check the spread of the disease in the state.
“Like any other form of disease, good hygiene practices and taking precautions over all forms of symptoms among family members and friends will go a long way to curb the spread of diseases. Hand washing remains an effective way of preventing diseases. Families as well as corporate organisations should re-adopt the use of tip taps and hand sanitisers placed in public places.”
Kogi doctors mourn colleague
In Kogi state, medical doctors the state are mourning their colleague, Dr Idowu Ahmed, who died last Sunday due to Lassa fever. He was aged 30 and contracted the disease from a seven-month-old baby that also died 24 hours after admission.
A procession was held for the doctor at Federal Medical Centre Lokoja where they were addressed by the Chief Medical Director, Dr Olatunde Alabi.
Alabi said, “Actually, the late Dr Idowu Ahmed is one of our new doctors that we have here and he has been very hardworking and dedicated to his duties. We are aware that there is an epidemic in the country and we are trying to put our own measures in place so that we don’t have further spread of the disease.”
In his remark, Kogi State Chairman of Nigerian Medical Association, Dr. Godwin Tijani, said persons who had contact with the deceased had been quarantined.
“We feel saddened by the death of one of our colleagues. He is a young chap and after two months, he is no more. We will forever miss him. As I speak to you, some of his colleagues who had contact with him have been quarantined and some of them had started taking drugs to ensure the effect is not felt,” Tijani said.