Lassa Fever, a National Tragedy

Health experts in Nigeria have described the recurrent Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria as a national tragedy.
In affirmation, Chairman, Lassa Fever Control Committee in Nigeria, Prof. Oyewale Tomori, who is President of the Nigeria Academic of Science, NAS, observed that Lassa fever that has been claiming lives over the past 47 years without concrete strategies to bring it under control, can only be referred to as a continuous national tragedy.
Tomori, who spoke recently at a symposium on Lassa fever organised by the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, NIMR, Yaba, Lagos, said the break down in disease surveillance did not make the country notice that Lassa fever has consistently brought sorrow, pains and agony to several homes.
In his contribution, the  Director Gen-eral, NIMR, Prof.  In-nocent Ujah, said the national response  to the 47-year-old epidemic in Nigeria has remained largely poor and there appears to be no strategic plan to allocate fund for Lassa and other viral Haemorrhagic fevers research, surveillance and appropriation response.
Ujah mentioned lack of manpower and well equipped laboratories as part of challenges hindering the institution from recording success.
“Public health education and awareness are usually far in between and there are no  comprehensive preventive measures to contain the disease.”
How then can we effectively curb this disease?
It begins with YOU! By maintaining a high level of hygiene, getting informed about the disease, you can help reduce the risk of getting infected by lassa fever.

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