The Director of Public Health, Anambra Ministry of Health, Dr Emmanuel Okafor on Thursday confirmed the death of a medical doctor and three others due to new cases of Lassa fever in the state.
He disclosed this during a one-day workshop on Lassa fever organised by the ministry to sensitize health professionals in the state on the disease in Awka.
The medical doctor was said to have died three days ago at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, NAUTH, after being referred to the hospital from Asaba, Delta State.
He however said the outbreak was not yet in an epidemic proportion in the state.
Dr. Okafor said that the workshop was aimed at training the health professionals who would go to the grassroots to educate the people on the prevention of the disease.
He said the state government had put in place proactive measures to handle the scourge but also urged health workers to exercise high standard of professionalism in handling Lassa fever cases.
Also speaking at the workshop, a resource person, Dr. Jane Ezeonu, warned people to stop drinking raw garri, in order to avoid the disease. She also advised them to protect their food and other related items from rats.
According to her, people do not get immunity after suffering from Lassa fever as erroneously believed in some quarters, explaining that emphasis on general hygiene was important in Lassa fever prevention.
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Also at the occasion, the state Commissioner for Health, Josephat Akabuike, represented by the Permanent Secretary, in the ministry Okwuchukwu Chukwuka, said the workshop was part of the proactive measures adopted by the state government.
“It is a training workshop for health professionals in the 21 local government areas of the state who would sensitise and disseminate information about Lassa fever to the grassroots.”
“We are having the workshop for prevention, not that we have an epidemic in the state,” Mr. Chukwuka said.