The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire on Thursday February 6 announced that the Lassa Fever epidemic has been confirmed in 27 states of the federation.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of a two-day seminar for 36 State Health Commissioners’ organised by the Nigerian Governors’ Forum in Abuja, the Minister disclosed that the Lassa Fever epidemic has also claimed the lives of two doctors.
Ehanire also revealed that the Nigerian government is working with a German research firm to develop a vaccine for the virus, as pointed out that government cannot curb the spread of the disease alone.
”I thank you all at this point for commendation the federal ministry of health has received in its efforts to contain the outbreak of Lassa fever which has moved to about 27 states as at last count. And we are also in collaboration to ensure that the Coronavirus does not enter Nigeria
”The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and other services are coordinating the government response to control the outbreak and also prevent importation, progress is being made on developing a vaccine against Lassa fever with the help of a German medical research firm."
Ehanire also urged all state health commissioners to speak with their various governors and also make them see the importance of secondary healthcare system.
”The temptation is to go for large visible hospital complexes, which are very impressive. But forget that down below, the needs there are not met, these large hospitals can convey about six, five general hospitals.
”We know that our country’s health system does not yet provide the level of quality of service required to meet the population.
”There is a need to have a sound primary healthcare system with a secondary PHCs including a functional general hospital in at least one in every LGA, there can be many more though.
”But I have always believed that private sectors always have a role to play here, states cannot meet this responsibility alone.”