“There is a dearth in medical resources for the treatment of Lassa Fever in Nigeria” – Doctor Gbenga Kuponiyi
As of Friday, January 23, the Lassa Fever outbreak claimed over 80 lives out of 239 confirmed and suspected Lassa fever cases reported from 18 states in Nigeria, with Bauchi, Niger, and Taraba as the most affected states. Since the first outbreak in 1969, there has been a continuous resurgence of the haemorrhagic disease, and still the Nigerian government has been unable to curb it, or at least, lessen its impact and effect.
“Having the same issues year in-year out, is not a sign of a progressive or dynamic society.”
In this special health edition of Beyond The Headlines, Ventures Africa had quite an enlightening discussion with Doctor Gbenga Kuponiyi, a medical doctor, public health physician, and consultant. Dr. Gbenga talks the significance of preventive precautionary measures for the public, universal precaution for health workers, the current lack of adequate medical resources, and the issue of accountability on the part of the government, as well as the public in tackling the deadly disease.
“Once it’s health, there are two groups of people that should be held accountable – the people and the government.”
However, as opposed to what the government wants Nigerians to believe, there is a dearth in medication, and facilities to effectively tackle Lassa, even at the present critical stage. “I’m aware of hospitals desperately in search of Ribavirin (anti-viral drug) right now, yet they can’t find to purchase. It’s not in supply right now, in the way it’s being demanded for,” explained Dr. Kuponiyi.
To learn more and be further enlightened, kindly listen to the podcast below:-