Sunday, March 3, 2024

FMC to develop vaccine against Lassa fever

The Chief Medical Director of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Owo, Ondo State has said that the centre will develop a vaccine against Lassa fever.

CMD Liasu Ahmed disclosed this on Tuesday during the centre’s annual ward round.

Lassa fever, also known as Lassa Hemorrhagic Fever (LHF), is a type of viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus. Many of those infected by the virus do not develop symptoms, but when symptoms occur, they typically include fever, weakness, headaches, vomiting and muscle pains.

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The CMD, who took journalists round the wards at the centre, said that with the establishment of a treatment centre in the town, the centre had begun the process of developing a vaccine for the virus. He added that the health facility started diagnosing Lassa fever with the use of a mobile laboratory.

He stressed the need for the Federal Government to address medical tourism and exodus of Nigerian doctors seeking greener pasture outside the country.

Ahmed said; “I want to say confidently that the hospital is fulfilling the mandates of service, training, and research. In terms of service delivery, the problem of an out-of-stock syndrome in the pharmacy has been reduced to the barest minimum.

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“A reference laboratory has been set up through the Public-Private Partnership (PPP). All equipments in the laboratory are automated and results of investigations are released within 30 minutes. Furthermore, our services are being improved through the introduction of Electronic Medical Records (EMR).

“It is no longer news that FMC Owo is one of the treatment centres for Lassa fever in the country and the only one that is treating patients with Lassa fever-free. Last year, we started diagnosing Lassa fever with the use of mobile laboratory donated by an NGO called Pandora in collaboration with Irua Teaching Hospital and the
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. In January 2019 during the world conference on Lassa fever in Abuja, FMC Owo received an award of excellence as the most improved treatment centre in the country.”

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