The Federal Government has assured that it is committed to ending the epidemic of Lassa fever this year.
The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, gave the assurance on Wednesday while addressing State House correspondents. “We are committed to signing the obituary of the Lassa fever this year”, the minister said. He, however, noted that the country could win the battle against Lassa fever the same way it won against Ebola because the latter was a single importation to Nigeria, while the former was endemic in the country. “We cannot win the battle against Lassa fever the same way we won the one against Ebola. Ebola happened to be a single importation to Nigeria. Lassa fever is endemic in Nigeria. In 2012, we had upsurge in 26 states. So, it is there, but I can assure you that with what we put in place this year, we will sign it off”, he said. The minister also stated that the current outbreak of Lassa fever was not resurgence as it had been endemic in the country over the years. “And as I said in numerous occasions, we have these outbreaks. In 2012, we had the highest. We had 1, 700 cases and that declined. Last year, we had 441 cases. And what has happened is that for the first time in the history of the country, we are being transparent and open, and we are telling the entire world what the situation is. And that is what is different. We are also concerned.”