ABUJA: The Federal Government, has said that it would establish a national reference laboratory for Yellow Fever confirmations in less than six months, in Abuja.
This is just as it said, that the Laboratory will help to reduce the logistics challenges currently being faced with sample transportation to World Health Organisation (WHO) reference laboratory in Dakar, Senegal.
Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, who disclosed this to newsmen in Abuja, said the move will also ultimately reduce the morbidity and mortality rate of yellow fever.
“Yellow Fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever transmitted by infected mosquitoes. To contain outbreak rapidly, we have to strengthen our laboratory capacity. The federal government on its own part is committed to establishing a reference laboratory in the country to reduce the logistics challenges, sample transportation, and laboratory turnaround time that occurs when these samples are taken to Darkar Senegal.
“This, he maintained, “will ultimately reduce the response time, and consequently the morbidity and mortality rate of yellow fever”, he said.
He further disclosed that, “Currently there are over 1,600 suspected cases listed with 41 confirmed from the WHO regional Reference Laboratory in Darkar Senegal. However, the federal government of Nigeria and the National Center for Disease Control collaborating with Development Partners mounted a combined outbreak and preventive campaigns in Kogi, Kwara, Zamfara, Kebbi, Niger and Borno States. These campaigns were very successful in addressing the outbreaks since September of last year.
“The second phase of the preventive campaigns were carried out in January, February of this year in which over 8.6 million people between the ages of 9 months to 44 years were immunized”.
According to him, “the post campaign coverage survey, shows 93 percent coverage for Kwara, 94 percent for Kogi, 87 percent for Zamfara, 96 percent for Borno States.
“Currently, there is an ongoing third preventive mass campaign in Sokoto, the FCT, Niger, Kebbi and Plateau states. The vaccination campaign began on the 22nd November 2018 and it ios expected to last until the 1st of December 2019.
“Some LGA’s in Kebbi State that were not covered during the 2nd phase will also be covered during this third phase”.
On the outbreak in Edo State, Shuaib expressed confidence that the situation in the State will soon be arrested.
“I am sure you are privy to the recent outbreak of yellow fever in edo about a fever of unknown origin that is being investigated, tests done in laboratories have shown that 9 of the samples tested positive for yellow fever and as such samples have been forwarded to Darkar for confirmation.
“We would like to reassure the general public that all the agencies involved are working round the clock to contain the spread to prevent further outbreaks”, he assured.