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Lassa Fever Outbreak In Nigeria: Emergency Declared- Stuti Saxena
By Chioma Okwu

Nigeria is faced with an emergency situation these days as the Lassa fever breaks out in the country. Ergo, NCDC has activated an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to tackle the menace. The national NOC counts representatives from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Ministry of Environment, World Health Organization (WHO), etc. Rapid Response Teams (RRT) have been assigned the tasks of providing emergency supplies and managing the outbreak in the States. It is anticipated that the RRTs would prevent and control the spread of disease further. Apart from this, the latest guidelines have been issued and new data management tools have been developed for preempting the spread of the disease. Furthermore, apart from strengthening the laboratory network, media channels have been tapped for spreading the word about the prevention and check of the disease.  

Lassa fever leaves severe results for the survivors who have to confront disability of diverse kinds on account of the adverse effects of the drugs received by them. Lassa fever is a viral disease and is spread from the feces of the multimammate rats. It’s contaminated easily as it transmits from one human being to the other via contact. Of late, there has been an increment in the number of Lassa fever cases in the States. In fact, the disease is more rampant in Edo, Ondo, and Ebonyi. Furthermore, it has been reported that the disease is more rampant during the dry months (January-April). For instance, last year, the country witnessed around 3498 suspected cases from 23 States and the number of deaths counted 171. It is important that for the better understanding of the disease, a national research plan is formulated and implemented. This would entail investment in research and development as well as harnessing the potential of trained medical personnel and practitioners. Likewise, diagnostic laboratories should be set up in all the States of the country for preventing and controlling the disease. Conceding the ill-effects of the disease, it is pertinent that preemptive measures be adopted to avoid the spread of the disease in other parts of the country.       

Stuti Saxena  is a contributor on Blueprintafric,

Stuti is a follower of Open Government Data (OGD) as a research theme. She is a research scholar at the Central University of Haryana in the Political Science Department. Hitherto, where she has been associated with the National Innovation Foundation, Ahmedabad, Indian Institutes of Management, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Indore, and ICFAI, Hyderabad in diverse roles. Stuti holds an MPhil degree in Public Administration from Lucknow University.

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