Lassa Fever: Eight More People Under Surveillance In Delta State

Lassa feverAbout eight people have been placed under surveillance in Delta State after being suspected of being in contact with a doctor killed by Lassa Fever.

They are members of staff of the hospital a medical practitioner died of the disease in Delta State.

The Delta State Commissioner for Health, Nicholas Azinge, gave this update, adding that authorities will be moving into the hospitals to carefully go through their records for more people that may have had close contact with the deceased.

He said it would help in tracing the source of the outbreak

This makes a total of 40 persons quarantined since the outbreak in the state.

On Monday, August 22, Dr. Azinge confirmed a fresh case of Lassa fever and the death of a medical doctor who resides and owns a hospital in Asaba, the Delta State capital.

Retired Soldier Gets Life Imprisonment For Raping Step-Daughter

retired soldier gets life imprisonment for raping step-daughterAn Ogun State High Court sitting in Isabo, Abeokuta, has sentenced a retired soldier, Alabi Ibrahim, to life imprisonment for raping his 10-year-old stepdaughter and infecting her with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

The convict was alleged to have committed the crime in 2012 and was subsequently arrested and tried following intervention from the Ogun State Chapter of Child Protection Network (CPN), an umbrella body of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) that fight for the rights of children.

A medical report presented in the court from the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, established that the convict had sexually assaulted the girl and also infected her with HIV.

The report tendered by a medical practitioner, Dr. Seyi Adejobi, says that after the defilement, medical investigation revealed that the girl had been penetrated, and blood investigation also showed that she had HIV.

The blood sample of the convict also tested positive for the virus.

However, Counsel to the convict, Adebola Okudoro, told the court that the allegation against him was hearsay, thereby appealing to the court to temper justice with mercy in seeing that his client was not sentenced.

He pleaded, “My Lord, the accused person is a first offender. The health of the accused should be put into consideration. He is infected with HIV and will need access to medical attention, which is very expensive, and there is no such facilities in prisons custody.

“The accused person is the breadwinner of the family. He has several dependants. We pray the court to temper justice with mercy,” he pleaded.

In his judgement, however, the presiding judge, Justice Abiodun Akinyemi, said that the accused faced a one-count charge of having sexual intercourse with the child; offence said to be contrary to section 3 of Child Rights Law, noting that the court was convinced with the allegation against the accused after several court sittings.

Akinyemi further added that the victim’s testimony during cross examination showed that she was telling the truth and not being tutored, as there were concrete evidence that the victim was sexually assaulted, having also lost count on number of times the convict assaulted her.

“The court is convinced about the girl’s evidences. She is intelligent, she remained consistent during cross examination and she does not seem to have been tutored.

“I find her evidence credible. Evidence of her mother corroborated her own,” the judge stated.

The presiding judge also made reference to the medical report which stated that the accused infected the girl with HIV, stressing that the convict’s action has brought a permanent stigma on the innocent girl.

“I am fully convinced that the accused had repeatedly had sex with the girl. I found the accused guilty as charged. I find it not in my mind to show any mercy.

“The man is shameless, sleeping with mother and child, what an abomination.

“People like him need not to be in the society. I therefore sentence him to life imprisonment. He should, however, be given access to reasonable treatment,” the judgement declared.

Ebola: Medical Practitioners Concerned With Spread Of Virus

EbolaA Medical Practitioner, Ramon Moronkola, has revealed that the medical practitioners in Nigeria were concerned with the level at which the Ebola Virus spreads, as the doctors remained the most at risk of contacting the disease.

Dr Moronkola, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, noted that the doctors were liable to get the virus due to contact with patients; through not only physical contact but examination of patients through taking their body fluids and so on.

He warned that the virus, which can be detected in only few laboratories in the country, takes 2 to 21 days before the patient starts showing symptoms and urged health workers to take standard precautions in taking care of every patient.

Moronkola also provided more information about the virus, explaining that an Ebola patient is unlikely to be contagious or infectious within the 2 to 21 days incubation interval, and that patients can only spread the virus if they move around during the period the virus begins to manifest.

Dr Moronkola commended the Ministry of Health for having already started educating the general public in order to contain the spread of the Ebola virus among individuals.

Asked if an infected patient who takes a bath in the stream can infect other users of the stream, the doctor affirmed that the entire community would be at risk of having the virus.

He further advised that other NGO’s should take it as a point of duty to help in spreading the information so that people would be armed with information and not go blindly to the virus.

He advised limited contacts with suspected case of Ebola or with people who have fever. He also recommended the use of hand sensitizers and 70% alcohol.

Dr Moronkola called on Nigerians to imbibe the habit of always washing their hands and the use of disinfectants or to limit the use of  public toilets and facilities, adding that the unnecessary consumption of bush meat should also be avoided.

On the strike of the doctors, he believes that it is the duty of public health professionals to ensure that the spread of the virus is contained, since the disease is a public health matter, whether there was a strike or not. He noted that doctors should be appreciated, making reference particularly to the Nigerian doctor who first identified the disease in Nigeria on the Liberian, Patrick Sawyer.