Lassa fever: Edo inspects isolation facilities at ISTH, to boost response with new holding centre in Edo North

29 Jan 2023

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Caption: Edo State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Obehi Akoria (right), with the Acting Chief Medical Director, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH), Prof. Reuben. Eifediyi, during an inspection visit to ISTH, in Irrua, Esan Central Local Government Area.

The Edo State Government has disclosed plans to boost its response against Lassa fever in the state by activating a holding centre in Edo North Senatorial District.

The Edo State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Obehi Akoria, disclosed this during an on-the-spot inspection of isolation facilities at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, in Esan Central Local Government Area of Edo State.

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The Commissioner was conducted round the facilities by the Acting Chief Medical Director, ISTH, Prof. Reuben. Eifediyi.

Expressing satisfaction with the facilities, Prof. Akoria said the state is adequately equipped with facilities and manpower to efficiently contain Lassa fever in the state, urging for the collaboration of all residents and other stakeholders.

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According to her, “The isolation centre at ISTH is impressive. There is a ward for severely ill patients, with an extension for mildly and moderate cases. The holding capacity was recently increased by activating and repurposing an extension. The centre can now cater for close to 100 patients. 

“The facility is neat and spacious with good measures for infection prevention and control. We are working with the management of the institution to help resolve the challenges with water and power supply. They have good equipment and are able to provide specialist care to manage patients with co-morbidities and even pregnant women. Specialists available at the facility include pediatricians, ophthalmologists, physicians, and obstetricians, among others.” 

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Reassuring the government’s continuous support to the federal government-owned health institution, the Commissioner added, “The Edo State Government will continue to support the facility with regular IPC commodities for the care of patients at the Lassa fever isolation centre.  We have also purchased and installed several dialysis machines for the facility.

“The Heads of Local Government recently also provided financial support to indigent patients in a bid to address patients' reluctance to go into treatment centres.

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“We intend to upscale the state response by activating a holding centre in Edo North senatorial zone as soon as possible.”

She further noted, “The centre is coping well with the outbreak. Providing additional wards for patient care has further improved case management. We appreciate the management of ISTH for that. There are capable, experienced and committed healthcare professionals on ground to manage the wide range of clinical scenarios associated with Lassa fever.”