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Lagos yet to ascertain disease that killed 20 children

Published on February 19, 2016 by   ·   No Comments

Kazeem Ugbodaga

Dr. Jide Idris, Lagos State Health Commissioner

Dr. Jide Idris, Lagos State Health Commissioner

The Lagos State Government is yet to ascertain the disease which killed 20 children in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.

At least 20 children were killed by an ailment between January 2016 and this month. Official figure puts the death toll at 17.

The state government said the deaths could have been caused by an outbreak of Febrile Rash Illnesses (FRI).

State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris told newsmen Friday that the disease causing the outbreak is yet to be confirmed, but noted that the signs and symptoms were suggestive of FRI.

“Blood samples (and throat swabs) from the patients and water samples from the community have been taken to the Virology Reference Laboratory at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, and Lagos State Drug Quality Control Laboratory (DQCL), LASUTH, Ikeja respectively.

“The source of the infection is still under investigation. Thirty-Four cases have been line-listed so far with 17 males and 17 females. 17 dead patients have been identified with 9 males and 8 females. All are within the age range of 8-72 months,” he said.

Idris stated that house-to house search for cases were still ongoing as 47 sick children were found, out of which 34 were line-listed as Febrile Rash Illnesses.

The commissioner said so far, government is carrying out awareness creation and community sensitization, active case search, local supplemental immunization, which involved 587 eligible children being immunized with measles vaccine and administered with Vitamin A.

“Laboratory investigation has been carried out. Eight blood samples and seven throat swabs were collected from cases of FRI and sent to the laboratory for measles and other possible viral illnesses. Follow up on suspected children who are undergoing treatment to monitor recovery and intervene with further medical attention if required is ongoing. Seven cases were already followed up as at 15th February, 2016. Six had recovered while one who was still ill was immediately taken to the Primary Health Centre (PHC) at Ikate for further medical attention,” Idris said.

Idris emphasised the need for the citizens to continue to practice health promotion and disease prevention measures, such as basic environmental sanitation, including proper disposal of refuse, avoiding open defecation; regular hand washing with soap and water, maintaining personal hygiene, adequate nutrition, antenatal care for pregnant women, immunisation of children against deadly vaccine preventable childhood diseases and regular check-ups towards ensuring early diagnosis and prompt treatment of both communicable and non-communicable diseases.

“Members of the public and health workers are to report any strange illness to the nearest health facility or call the following lines: 08037170614, 08055281442 and 08023169485. The Lagos State Government remains committed to the protection, promotion, preservation and prolongation of health of her citizens,” he stated.

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