Friday, 6 April 2018

Nigerian doctors may refuse to attend to patients with Lassa fever as it spreads

Nigerian doctors may begin an action of refusal to attend to patients with Lassa fever if they are not provided with the right equipment to protect themselves, BBC reports.

Dr Mike Ozovehe Ogirima, president of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) stated that eight doctors had died of the disease since the beginning of the year after contracting it from patients.

He issued the warning as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) issued its latest figures showing that Lassa fever has now spread to 20 states in Nigeria, killing 142 people since January.

Dr Ogirima said the authorities should do more than just “enough” to end the outbreak.

Lassa fever is usually transmitted to humans via food and objects contaminated with rodent urine or faeces.

Health Minister Isaac Adewole told reporters that the government was putting in more resources to tackle the outbreak.

He admitted the government was worried with increase in the number of health practitioners contacting the disease.

“It represents a new dimension because for doctors and others it is human-to-human [transmission]. But we are confident that in the next one or two months everything will fizzle out.”

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