Lassa fever killed two doctors in Oyo within 72 hours – NMA

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Oyo state chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has disclosed that it lost two of its members to Lassa fever within 72 hours.

State chairman of the NMA, Ayotunde Fasunla confirmed the death of the two doctors via a statement released on Thursday, March 3.

Fasunla appealed to members of the association to treat all febrile illnesses with a high index of suspicion, adding that they’ve also instructed members to be cautious and vigilant at all times.

The statement read:

“The NMA announces, with deepest regret and sorrow, the demise of two of her members from Lassa Fever.

“The tragic deaths occurred within a space of 72 hours. It is indeed a sad week, and our eyes are still soaked in tears.

“While we thought that COVID-19 had done its worst, we are now dealing with another onslaught of a Lassa fever outbreak.

“Furthermore, we are worried about other health workers who have had contact with the diseased unknowingly. We have advised them to quarantine and report if they develop any symptoms of viral hemorrhagic fever.

“Not only for the sake of their health and safety, but also in the interest of the patients and public health.

“Members, especially the frontline doctors and other health workers, must wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) at all times.

“We appeal to management of health institutions in the state to make PPEs readily available, as well as soap and running water for handwashing immediately after attending to patients.

“This is to protect our members and other healthcare workers from contracting transmissible infections.

“We appeal to the Oyo State Government to conduct intensive surveillance and sensitisation on Lassa Fever outbreaks in the affected communities as well as across all local government areas in the state.

“We commiserate with the families of our colleagues who lost their lives in the course of performing their professional duties to the service of humanity. May their gentle soul rest in peace.”

By Feranmi Okuku