The Oyo State chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Thursday said it lost two of its members to Lassa fever within the space of 24 hours.
The chairman of the association in the state, Dr Ayotunde Fasunla, who made the disclosure in a statement issued in Ibadan, appealed to the state government to conduct intensive surveillance and sensitization on Lassa fever outbreaks in affected communities, as well as across all local government areas in the state.
He said the association is worried about other health workers who have had contact with the disease unknowingly.
The statement read: “Oyo State branch announces with deepest regret and sorrows the demise of two of her members from Lassa fever. The tragic deaths occurred within the space of 24 hours! It is indeed a sad week, and our eyes are still soaked in tears.
“While we thought that COVID-19 had done its worst, we are now dealing with another onslaught of a Lassa fever outbreak. Furthermore, we are worried about other health workers who have had contact with the disease unknowingly. We have advised them to quarantine and report if they develop any symptoms of viral haemorrhagic fever.
“The NMA urges her members to treat all febrile illnesses with a high index of suspicion. We have instructed our colleagues to be cautious and vigilant at all times, not only for the sake of their health and safety but also in the interest of the patients and public health.
“Members, especially the front line doctors and other health workers, must wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPEs) at all times. We appeal to the management of health institutions in the state to make the PPEs readily available, as well as soap and running water for hand-washing immediately after attending to patients, to protect our members and other healthcare workers from contracting transmissible infections.
“We appeal to the Oyo State Government to conduct intensive surveillance and sensitization on Lassa fever outbreaks in affected communities as well as across all local government areas in the state.
“Meanwhile, NMA Oyo commiserates with the families of our colleagues who lost their lives in the course of performing their professional duties to the service of humanity. May their gentle soul rest in peace.”