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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Federal Government of Nigeria Partners with WHO and CEPI to Eliminate Lassa Fever

Nigeria's Minister of Health, claims that making the Lassa fever vaccine available is part of a strategic plan to combat the disease's causes and eradicate it

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Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga
Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga
Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga is a graduate of Mass Communication and aspiring investigative journalist.

NIGERIA. Abuja: The Federal government (FG) of Nigeria, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), will develop therapeutics, a vaccine for Lassa fever. Lassa fever is a viral haemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus.

Osagie Ehanire, Nigeria’s Minister of Health, claims that making the vaccine available is part of a strategic plan to combat the disease’s causes and eradicate it because it has gained widespread attention in Nigeria. He made the announcement at a three-day national case management training for Lassa fever in Abuja.

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The Nigerian government is very concerned about the outbreak of the disease in the nation, according to Ehanire, who was represented by Minister of State for Health Ekumankama Joseph. “I will not rest until reputable organizations like WHO and CEPI come in to help provide a lasting solution to the virus through developing a reliable vaccine,” Ehanire said.

As the virus becomes increasingly endemic in some areas while other states record frequent outbreaks, Nigeria has recently seen a dramatic increase in confirmed Lassa fever cases.

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“The government must put more emphasis on erecting more physical structures such as buildings in order to manage the increment case of Lassa fever and the process of vaccine development,” Ehanire emphasized.

Lassa fever

The Lassa virus, a member of the arenavirus family of viruses, is said to be the cause of Lassa fever, an acute viral hemorrhagic sickness, according to the WHO. 

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The most common way for humans to contract the Lassa virus is through contact with food or household items that have been tainted by the urine or faeces of infected Mastomys rats.

This zoonotic illness has consequences for the economy, human health, and national security since it produces acute viral hemorrhagic fever and has a high death and morbidity rate.

African nations, including Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Togo, Nigeria, and other West African countries, are plagued with the disease.

Since its initial discovery in Nigeria in 1969, Lassa fever has steadily spread throughout several areas. Nigeria has had annual outbreaks of public health concerns and has recently registered the highest prevalence.

Also Read: Lassa Fever Kills Eight People in Gombe


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