By Solomon Akaniyene, Calabar
The Director General of the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Betta Edu has stated that staff members of primary healthcare facilities have been on red alert for symptoms of Lassa fever across the state.
According to the commissioner, the move came following the death of a young woman at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) due to the disease.
Edu in a statement made available to reporters on Thursday said, “It is unfortunate that Cross River State is reporting for the first time a case of death occurring from Lassa fever despite all efforts made by the state to keep residents informed of prevention of Lassa fever.
“However, the State Ministry of Health is on top of the matter and several immediate steps has been taken which includes contact tracing of those involved in the management of the patient including the mortian; contact tracing to referral centers that were involved; urgent commencement of prophylactic rivabarin; home quarantine of those involved for at least 7-21 days and shut down of the O and G theater which was used for the patient and other private health facilities visited by index case to be followed up.
“At the level of the communities, primary health care facilities staff have been put on red alert to watch out for the signs and symptoms of Lassa fever in their patients and report any suspected case to the Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency or the contact numbers from State Ministry of Health.
“A communique has been issued to all Primary Health Care workers from my office which contains what to look out for, protocol for management and handling before and during referrals. PHC workers have also been mobilized to begin community sensitization on the prevention of Lassa fever in communities in Cross River State.”