The Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu announced the decline in the number of new cases of Lassa fever in the country.
Ihekweazu made this known at a news conference held in Abuja on Monday stating that the country had witnessed a reduction in the number of people who have died from the disease compared to 2018.
“An outbreak of Lassa fever was declared in Nigeria on Jan. 21, 2019. Since then, 420 confirmed cases and 93 deaths have been reported in 21 states.
“The national response is being coordinated by the national, multi-sectoral, multi-partner Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) led by the NCDC.
“In addition, the centre has supported Ebonyi, Edo, Ondo, Plateau and Kebbi States in activating sub-national level EOCs for coordination,” he said.
Ihekweazu affirms that following the large Lassa fever outbreak in 2018, the NCDC together with partners instituted five key measures to ensure improved preparedness in 2019.
NCDC boss listed some of the measures as training of over 1,000 healthcare workers on Lassa fever management, diagnosis and surveillance, together with the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital.
He said that prepositioning of treatment and diagnostic supplies to the 21 states that recorded cases in 2018, treatment centres and laboratories.
Ihekeazu added that publication of Lassa fever messages on three major newspapers, weekly radio shows on Radio Nigeria and intensive community engagement was part of the improved preparedness.
“Also, we developed new case management guidelines, initiated a Lassa fever Research Consortium and hosted an International Conference on Lassa fever to share knowledge,” he added.