A Rivers-based doctor with Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital, Livy Ijamala has been declared dead as a result from lassa fever.
Ijamala who was working for the Rivers state based hospital was said to have died on thursday after being kept in an isolated ward at the BMH and later transferred to Irua Specialist Hospital in Edo State. His death is the third recorded casualty of lassa fever in the state
According to the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Theophilus Odagme, Ijamala, who had attempted to treat a case of Lassa fever in December 2015, might have been infected in the process.
Odagme who expressed sadness over the incident added that although the latest victim of the disease was in the isolation ward at the BMH, he was transferred to a specialist hospital in Irua, Edo State at his family’s insistence.
Speaking through his Press Secretary, Mr. Paul Bazia, Odagame stated that the state government was working on measures to put an end to the disease.
In the meantime, the Federal Government has stated that a trial vaccine for lassa fever is currently being processed. According to the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, the vaccine will be administered if found to be effective and safe for human consumption. The minister said this on Thursday during a presentation before the Senate Committee on Health in Abuja.
“We call it a candidate vaccine, we have to run it through trial and it will take some time. Hopefully, we will do it this year; if we consider it to be effective and safe, we will put it to use. For now, the vaccine is actually prevention,” Adewole noted.
The minister reassured that the government is determined to eradicate the disease. “The disease is endemic; endemic means that it is there but occasionally it flares up. I call it a national embarrassment because it has been with us since 2012. What has happened under the current administration is that we are not hiding it; we want to tackle it head-on
“Last year alone, we recorded 441 cases of Lassa fever. What we missed is the situation in Niger and before we got to know, we had lost 17 people unfortunately,” Adewole added.