At an emergency National Council on Health (NCH) meeting in Abuja, Nigeria yesterday, Minister of Health Isaac Adewole blasted states for concealing suspected cases of Lassa fever and failing to take the threat seriously.
Adewole said 17 states are currently battling the disease, and also cited 212 suspected cases in 62 local governments since last August. He promised that the federal government would set up 109 Primary Healthcare Centres to cope with the outbreak over the next 3 months, but warned states they need to strengthen surveillance, Punch reports.
The minister also warned against the practice of drying grains and other foods on roads, as they might be contaminated by rats that transmit the disease, This Day reported. “We need to change our habits, even now people still dry their food by the road side, rats can infect such food and the virus gets spread,” Adewole said.