Prof Oyewale Tomori, the Chairman, Lassa Fever Eradication Committee, a task force set up by the federal government to control and prevent the spread of Lass Fever, has said that an average of three persons are diagnosed with the acute hermorrhagic fever every day in Nigeria.
Prof. Tomori made this known at a symposium in Lagos where he said human life has no value in the country.
His word, “We have little value for life, until more than 100 people die, it is not an emergency. For many years, Lassa has been with us but we don’t take it serious.
“In other parts of the world, when a single person dies of a disease, it is a national emergency. For how long are we going to continue to call tragedy an embarrassment? He explained that the breakdown in disease surveillance did not make the country notice that Lassa has consistently brought sorrow, pains and agony to several homes.
“If you are not hearing of new cases, it is not that the disease is not occurring, but because our disease surveillance is not up to par. We deceive ourselves that it’s a seasonal disease, but the fact remains that it occurs throughout the year. At least, three people are diagnosed of Lassa daily somewhere in the country.”
“We abandon disease surveillance and control activities; there was a time people worked together, the laboratories at Ibadan, the Ministry of Health, NIMR, joined forces to protect the country. In the 60s to 80s at Ibadan, we produced every reagent we needed in the country. We did not depend on importation. But now we are lazy and everybody wants to make money from importation.”
It would be recalled that early in the year, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control revealed that more than 130 people are suspected to have died from a Lassa Fever outbreak.