Not up to a month after she started working as the female resident doctor in the pediatrics department of the Federal Medical Center FMC Umuahia Abia state, Dr. Ndukwu Chizaram, has reportedly died of Lassa Fever.
The Doctor who died at Irua Specialist Hospital in Esan Central Edo state over the weekend, according to her colleagues, had earlier attended to an 11-month old baby who had Lassa fever. The Nigerian doctor who was admitted in a Private ward at FMC Umuahia between March 29 and 30, before she was rushed to Irua Specialist Hospital, died on Saturday.
Innocent Orji, President of the association of resident doctors (ARD) in the state, said while addressing health workers in the hospital;
“Distinguished colleagues, we have an ongoing disaster in our hands. One of our members just died of Lassa fever at Irua specialist hospital.
“For now, anybody that worked in children emergency on 12th and 13th of this month, and in Slessor private ward on 29th and 30th should reach me immediately.
“The management has been informed and is already doing something. It is really a difficult time for all of us. But our priority now is to work with management to prevent further deaths. Contact tracing and risk stratification are currently underway. The response team of the hospital has been deployed.
“Make no mistake about this, what we have on our hands is a very big crisis and we sincerely hope that all hands will be on deck to see to the resolution of this crisis.”
From 1 January through 25 February 2018, 1081 suspected cases of Lassa Fever and 90 deaths have been reported from 18 states (Anambra, Bauchi, Benue, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekite, Federal Capital Territory, Gombe, Imo, Kogi, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ondo, Osun, Plateau, Rivers, and Taraba). During this period, 317 cases have been classified as confirmed and eight as probable, including 72 deaths (case fatality rate for confirmed and probable cases = 22%). A total of 2845 contacts have been identified in 18 states.
Fourteen health care workers have been affected in six states (Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Kogi, Nasarawa, and Ondo), with four deaths (case fatality rate= 29%). As of 18 February, four out of the 14 health care workers were confirmed positive for Lassa fever.