The Lassa fever battle has claimed the life of one of the front warriors – a medical doctor. Dr. Livy Ijamala working with the Braithwait Memorial Specialist Hospital, which is owned by the Rivers State government, has died from Lassa fever, bringing the number of people already killed by the disease in the state to three.
This was confirmed yesterday in Port Harcourt by Dr. Furo Green, the Chairman of the state branch of Nigerian Medical Association, (NMA).
“Last night, one of our hard working doctors in the Department of Obstetrics Gynaecology, Dr. Livy Ijamala, lost his life following infection with Lassa fever.
Dr. Green, said the late doctor, Ijamala, who died in the early hours of yesterday from the ailment, had contact with patients infected with Lassa fever and had been buried in line with recommendations of World Health Organization (WHO) for deaths from contagious diseases.
“This is the price medical doctors and health personnel pay for offering health services to the public. The hospital is being decontaminated as we speak. All medical doctors and healthcare personnel that had primary contact with the late medical doctor have been placed under observation.”
Dr. Green said doctors in the state were on three days strike to protest the frequent abduction of medical doctors in the state and to draw attention to the plight of medical doctors and said the strike could actually be a blessing in disguise.
“While we are not happy to go on strike, the strike now appears to be a blessing in disguise because fewer doctors and patients came to the hospital today, thereby, reducing the rate of contacts among medical doctors and patients.”
The report of the of Dr. Ijamala’s death came barely 48 hours after the Federal Minister of Health, Prof. Issac Adewole, confirmed in Abuja, the death of a man, reportedly brought in from Jos in Plateau state, one of the 10 affected states, raising the official number of deaths to 42.
As at the time of this report, the death toll has risen to 43.