The Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria(APHPN), Ekiti State Chapter had its Annual General Meeting (AGM) Public lecture, in Federal Teaching Hospital Ido-Ekiti (FETHI) tagged: Lassa Fever Outbreak in Nigeria; Epidemiology Situation Analysis and way forward held on Tuesday, at the hospital’s mini conference hall.
In attendance, were the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, Professor Adekunle Ajayi, the Chairman Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC), Dr Idowu Adebara, the State Chairman Dr. K.A Durowade and his team, some clinical & non clinical staff of the Hospital, Students of; School of Nursing FETHI, Federal Technical College Usi-Ekiti, College of Health Science and Technology Ijero-Ekiti among others.
The guest speaker, Professor O.M Kolawole, Professor of Medical Virology and Director Institute of Molecular Science and Biotechnology, from the Department of Microbiology, University of Ilorin, Ilorin Nigeria took listeners through series of sessions on the epidemic deadly disease called ‘Lassa Fever’.
He explains that Lassa fever, being a disease that can be transmitted through contact with blood or other body fluids poses a significant risk in the health care setting. Thus, it is important that hospitals reinforce health workers and all their staff the need to protect themselves by practicing infection prevention and control (IPC) procedures.
Also, Hospitals and Ministries of Health must always make available the basic Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to staff and ensure a stringent hygienic environment in and around health care facilities as outlined by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in its Lassa Fever health care workers Advisory.
Furthermore, Professor Kolawole, specified that integrating community-based ‘one health’ surveillance and emergency response practice against emerging pandemics, strengthen Lassa fever epidemiologic risk surveillance and early laboratory detection are things we must do to curb the spread of the deadly infectious disease.
Above all, improving the present state of Nigeria’s primary health care system will help reduce the prevalence and outbreaks of Lassa fever as more deaths have been recorded in rural communities.
After entertaining several comments, questions and answers which were appropriately addressed by the presenter, the CMAC, in his closing remarks appreciated organizers of the program as well as participants and identified that wherever we find ourselves, or whichever seat or position we occupy let’s do our best as individuals to make positive impact in the health sector and Nigeria as whole.