The Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), has asked the Federal Government to focus more on neglected diseases such as, Spongiform Encephalopathies and Hemorrhagic fevers.
The group made the call on Sunday, following the rise of prevalence of psychiatric disorder and hemorrhagic fevers in Nigeria.
Their demand is part of resolutions reached by the AMLSN at the end of its 193rd NEC Meeting and Annual Public Health Lecture held in Calabar, Cross River State Capital, with the theme, “Spongiform Encephalopathies; Disorders of Economic and Public Health Importance; Wither Nigeria?”.
According to the AMLSN, the challenge must not be undermined by government, medical professionals and indeed all stakeholders.
With the outbreak of diseases such as Spongiform Encephalopathies, Lassa Fever Virus and Ebola virus among others, speakers at the meeting, called on the public to adhere strictly to the preventive measures of personal and environmental hygiene.
Reading out resolutions reached at the end of the NEC Meeting, the National President of the Association, Toyosi Raheem, called on government at all levels to constitute active surveillance teams that would ensure holistic surveillance at all times to detect early warning signs of disease outbreaks.
The active surveillance teams, according to Mr Raheem, would avoid health emergencies that may impact gravely on the lives of Nigerians.
The Yobe State government has adopted the use of available media to curtail the spread of the Lassa fever virus in the state.
The Executive Secretary of Yobe State Primary Healthcare Management Board, Dr. Hauwa Goni, disclosed this during an interview with Channels Television in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital.
While the state had not recorded any case of the disease, Dr. Goni said that efforts were being devised to educate the populace on how best to prevent the infiltration and eventual spread of the sickness in the northeast state.
According to her, “The available media include; production of jingles and announcements in local languages on television and radio, the use of public awareness campaign in churches, mosques and discussion arenas as well as the use of posters and pamphlets among others.”
Dr Hauwa Goni also revealed that traditional and religious leaders have been drafted in educating the people on the dangers of the disease and how to curtail its encroachment and subsequent spread across the state.
She hinted that the use of social media platforms such as WhatsApp had also been identified as a good way of enlightening the people on the scourge of the epidemic.
The medic urged the people of the state to help disseminate the information through their contact numbers when it gets to them.
She added that the Yobe State government would invent all the necessary measures within its reach to prevent the disease from entering the state.
A health expert has called for more enlightenment awareness to alert the citizens to help curtail the spread of the Lassa fever virus in Nigeria.
A dermatologist with the Federal Medical Center, Lokoja, Dr. Joseph Gabriel, made the plea on Tuesday in the Kogi State capital.
Dr. Gabriel also called for an enhanced campaign to sensitise the people of Kogi State, especially the rural dwellers on the need to take a preventive measure against the outbreak of the virus.
In another development, the Kogi State government said that it is making concerted moves to educate the people on how to curb the spread of the virus.
The government of Ekiti State also hinted that it has embarked on an awareness campaign programme on the Lassa fever virus across the 16 Local Government Areas of the state.
The Senate on Tuesday expressed concern over the inability of health officials to start awareness campaigns against the Lassa Fever Virus after it became an epidemic.
The lawmakers, at their first legislative business of the year, therefore demanded an aggressive sensitization about the disease and provision of preventive measures against the virus.
The concern of the Senate is coming just as medical practitioners at the Lassa Fever Reserch Center at the Irrua Specialist Hospital Edo State, accused the government of not giving the disease the attention it requires.
They fear that if nothing is done immediately to curtail further outbreak and spread of the virus, it could end up being a national emergency.
They however, declined a recommendation that the Federal Government distributes rat killers free of charge to Nigerians to help in eradicating rats from the environment.
Instead, they agreed that its Committee on Health invite the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, to inform the committee on actions the ministry is taking to prevent the spread of the virus.
41 people have lost their lives so far, with the virus reported in 10 states in Nigeria.