Lassa Fever Kills Medical Doctor In Rivers

A medical Doctor, Ehivai Njamala died from the deadly viral disease, Lassa Fever in Rivers state today January 14th. The disease, which is fast growing into an epidemic in Nigeria, killed the doctor who is resident at the Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital (BMSH), Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital.

According to the Chairman of the
Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in the state, Dr. Duro Green, the deceased contracted the disease while treating some patients with the virus at the Disease Control unit in the hospital.

Dr Njamala will be the third person to have died from the viral disease since it broke out in the state in December 2015. Lassa fever is a deadly viral disease that is spread by infected rats. Its spread can be stopped by keeping a rodent-free environment and maintaining proper hygiene.

Green used the opportunity to announced the commencement of a three-day warning strike by the NMA following the kidnap of two medical doctors in the state few days ago.

Dr. Ib  Aprioku, a consultant with the Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital (BMSH), Port Harcourt, was kidnapped on Sunday, January 10, 2016, while Dr Isaac Opurum, the director in charge of Community Health Services in the Rivers State Primary Health Care Management Board, was kidnapped in the early hours of yesterday from his residence in the state capital.

LEADERSHIP gathered that the warning strike commenced from 9:00am yesterday in all state government owned hospital across the state.

Meanwhile, he state commissioner for Health, Dr. Theophilus Odagme has appealed to the striking medical doctors to call off the action calling for more time to allow security agencies to investigate and ensure the rescue of the victims.

Odagme, who made the appeal in a chat with newsmen in Port Harcourt yesterday, said, “My appeal to doctors and other health care workers is that the kidnap of the two doctors should not male us down tools. I am in touch with the DSS, with the commissioner of Police, the OC, anti-kidnapping squad and I can assure them that everything is being done.

“As I speak to you, the car of the doctors that was kidnapped on Tuesday morning has been recovered and that car is being moved to a place where it should be. Some suspects have been picked up and they are being interrogated. So, the security operatives are very active on this matter.”

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