Kwara confirms cases of Lassa Fever, Yellow fever, Polio

Date: 2019-01-16

The Kwara State Government has confirmed two cases of Lassa Fever infecting a husband and wife in the state.

The government also confirmed an outbreak of circulating Vaccine Derived Polio Virus which claimed the life of a two-year-old girl and a case of Yellow Fever infecting a farmer.

Speaking with newsmen on Tuesday during at a news briefing, the Kwara Commissioner for Health, Alhaji Usman Rifun-Kolo said the outbreak of Lassa Fever was identified in a farm settlement in Taberu, Baruten Local Government Area.

He, however, explained that the two cases of the disease affected a husband and wife, who were natives of Benin Republic, which shares a border with the state. He added that the husband and wife are farming in Baruten.

"These cases of Lassa Fever originated from Benin Republic, whose citizen have inter-relations with people in Baruten area," he said.

According to him, the husband and wife were diagnosed in a health facility, and that the state government had already deployed disease surveillance team to identify those who have been in contact with the patients.

Rifun-Kolo further explained that the surveillance team identified four people with history of fever in the area.

He said that the four cases raised suspicion of Lassa fever, which prompted them to take samples from the individuals for further investigation.

He noted that the four individuals have commenced treatment in Taberu, Baruten LGA.

The commissioner also disclosed that an outbreak of circulating Derived Polio Virus in a Fulani Camp in Kiiparu District of Okuta Ward in Baruten LGA has been confirmed.

He noted that the victim was a two years old girl with a symptom of Acute Flaccid Paralysis adding that the World Health Organisation confirmed the case.

He, however, stated that the victim died of the disease and that contact case was carried out by the government to collect samples from other children in the Fulani settlement.

The state's commissioner for health disclosed that the settlers proved difficult and uncooperative and that it took the intervention of the Emir of Okuta to persuade the Fulani settlers on the need to take samples from their children.

According to him, the governor has already approved a budget to commence measures to curb the outbreak of these diseases.

"We will commence immunisation of children in Baruten and other neighbouring communities," he said.

Rifun-Kolo also disclosed that a Yellow Fever case has also been confirmed in Agunji in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara.

According to him, the patient is a farmer from Kebbi State, residence in Agunji District.

He noted that the state Ministry of Health is already in touch with the traditional leaders to brief them on the outbreak of the disease.

The commissioner added that samples have also been taken from residence to confirm if they had earlier taken the Yellow Fever immunisation that took place in 2018.

"The results showed only 25 per cent of people in that community were vaccinated for Yellow Fever," said the Commissioner.

He pointed out that the patient is responding to treatment, though not fully recovered, and that health workers will commence vaccination exercise, while urging people to comply with the exercise.

Also speaking, Dr Abimbola Folorunso, the Executive Secretary, Kwara State Primary Health Care Development Agency, said international health partners such as World Health Organisation are already on the ground to assess the situation and render assistance.

She lamented that non-cooperation of communities to get vaccinated during routine immunisation is responsible for outbreaks.

Folorunso also disclosed there is a collaboration with the government of Benin Republic to ensure border communities also get vaccines against outbreaks.

The expert in Epidemics appealed to people to comply during the vaccination campaign, adding that these diseases are vaccine-preventable.

"The patient with Yellow Fever would have been immunised against the disease for a period of 10 years if he had taken the vaccine," she said.





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