Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, who paid a courtesy visit to Ebonyi state Governor, David Umahi following the death of 4 Medical health workers from lassa fever, blamed the spread of deadly virus on carelessness of health personnel in the country.
“What is worrisome is that when doctors and healthcare workers become infected then the country is in danger because every person that will go and meet that doctor or nurse is at risk.
”I want to say that up till today no health care worker has contacted Lassa at Irrua Specialist Hospital, Edo state because if you take precaution, wear gloves before you take blood, wear gloves before you operate, you can’t catch Lassa fever.
“Lassa fever requires close contact between the blood of an infected person and healthcare workers looking after him. Once you wear gloves, wear protective gown, you can’t have Lassa fever. But what we have discovered is that doctors and nurses treat Lassa as if it is just ordinary flu or malaria, but it is not,” the minister said.
The Minister of Health also blamed the delay to fully equip the Virology Centre Abakaliki, which was built and handed over to the federal government, on outbreak of other deadly diseases across the country.
“It quite unfortunate that you handed the centre over to us but because of a few other things we could not respond immediately with the operationalisation of the lab”.
“As we moved to operationalise the lab we had other challenges, we had monkey pox, we had meningitis and it appeared as if in trying to prioritise we thought lassa has calmed down a bit, we decided to quickly address these diseases and also the yellow fever outbreak”, he added.