As the National Action Committee on Lassa fever was installed yesterday, the group has been saddled with the responsibility of providing a blue print for the containment of the Lassa fever, in two weeks time.
Meanwhile, the disease has spread to 64 local governments’ areas in 17 states, with 212 suspected cases, while Edo, Rivers, Taraba, Nasarawa states have emerged hottest zones for the disease.
The minister of health, prof. Isaac Adewole, made this disclosure during the National Council on Health (NCH) meeting with Commissioners for Health from all the states of the federation and other stakeholders in the health sector, yesterday.
Adewole, who described the current outbreak of the virus as a national embarrassment, fuelled by ignorance, urged all health practitioners to be honest in disclosing the present status of the disease in their states, stating that the objective of the meeting was to generate strategies on curbing the spread of the virus.
“There is a high level of denial and a conspiracy of silence in some of our states. I think people take delight in saying we have no case and to me that is not the issue.In fact, if you are able to pick suspicious cases, to me that is the issue because that goes to tell us that the surveillance system is at work.
“We also want to alert all health professionals in the country that they should report any case. I have described the outbreak as a national embarrassment.
“We can manage the embarrassment, but when we allowed another outbreak to occur in August last year, it became a national shame to all of us.
“One of the things we will do to prevent us from dragging this nation into shame is to stamp out Lassa fever,” he said.