The Nigerian Medical Association -NMA has described the recent outbreak of Lassa fever across the country as a reflection of the abysmally low level of preparedness in handling infectious diseases, especially viral hemorrhagic fever, at all levels of healthcare delivery.
The NMA in the statement signed by its President, Francis Faduyile, appealed to health authorities at all levels to prioritise capacity-building of healthcare professionals on standard infection prevention and control measures.
The association said the speedy and full implementation of the National Health Act 2014 and increase of budgetary allocation to the health sector to 15 percent will give the health sector the much-needed capacity to be proactive in addressing outbreaks and finding its root causes.
The doctors called on corporate organizations, NGOs and religious organizations to work with government and the Nigerian Medical Association in “intensifying ongoing public enlightenment campaign to ensure that all Nigerians are educated especially those at the rural communities on preventive strategies and prompt care-seeking.”
Nigeria is currently battling an outbreak of Lassa fever, with 195 confirmed cases and 29 deaths in 11 states, between January 1 and 24.