From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
The Kogi Government on Tuesday says it has successfully treated and discharged two patients of the same parents, confirmed with Lassa fever in January.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Audu, told newsmen in Lokoja, that for the first time in the history of the state they were able to admit confirmed Lassa fever cases, treated and discharged them successfully.
Audu said that the two patients of the same mother who were admitted into the state’s isolation centre were certified free of Lassa fever virus, and were discharged on Monday.
“We are very happy that the team that actually treated these patients was led by our own doctor in Kogi Specialist Hospital, Dr Lanre Olosunde. They did a thorough job, we recorded 100 percent success rate.
“You will recall we recently lost a medical doctor who was working with FMC, Lokoja, due to Lassa fever infection. Also, within the same period the diagnostic centre in Irua, where Lassa fever cases are being handled was filled up.
“It was upon this that His Excellency, Gov. Yahaya Bello, directed that we reactivate our isolation centre and provisions were made for those necessity in order to strengthen Kogi ministry of health to handle Lassa fever cases within the state,” Audu said.
The commissioner noted that Kogi was not having any fresh case of Lassa fever, saying the state had been able to curb further spread of the disease due to community sensitisation.
Audu explained that in spite the financial difficulties facing the state, certain fund was set aside that enabled them to established a dedicated laboratory and to remodelled the Isolation Centre, which was completed before admitting the patients.
Dr Austin Ojotule, the State Epidemiologist, said the state had about 16 suspected cases of Lassa fever, and their samples taking to Irua for confirmatory test; seven were positive of Lassa fever, out of which three died, two referred to Irua and we successfully treated two in Kogi.
Dr Lanre Olosunde, the team leader of doctors who treated the Lassa patients, told Our Correspondent in a telephone conversation that the success was due to the willingness of the government through the ministry of health to provide the necessary support in terms of funds, drugs and materials to manage the Lassa cases.
Olosunde added that the preparedness and commitment of the health care team who volunteered to sacrifice in order to provide standard care for the patients, also enhanced the success.
“Good disease surveillance system that resulted in early presentation of the patients to our centre for diagnosis and treatment, and cooperation of the patients’ relatives with the managing team.
“In addtion, the special consideration given by Kogi NMA to help respond to the Lassa fever outbreak by allowing doctors to participate in the managing these cases in spite the ongoing strike by Kogi doctors,” Olosunde said.