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Yellow fever spreads to more states



 SINCE the recent outbreak of yellow fever in the country,  it has recorded over 1,640 suspected cases with 41 confirmed cases according to the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Reference Laboratory in Dakar, Senegal, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA).

Meanwhile, about seven states in the country have reported the outbreak of the epidermic and the states include: FCT, Kogi, Anambra, Nasarawa, Zamfara, Edo and Benue.

Executive Director of NPHCDA,  Faisal Shuaib, who stated this Tuesday in  Abuja said that government had enough vaccines to contain the outbreak of yellow fever as about 6million doses were in its stockpiles while additional doses have been added.

“There is a global stockpile of vaccine meant for such outbreaks. The vaccines are supposed to be for prevention, Nigeria is one of the high risk countries in Africa for yellow fever. So, there is stockpile of vaccine and as at the last time, it was about 6m doses with additional vaccine doses that are added to that”.

Shuaib, who expressed government’s readiness in ensuring local production of vaccines, disclosed that, the federal government is committed to establishing a reference laboratory in the country within the next six months to reduce the logistics challenges with sample transportation and laboratory turnaround time and ultimately reduce the response time and consequently the morbidity and mortality rates.

Dr. Shuaib noted that Nigeria is one of the 27 African countries that are high risk for yellow fever, and that all the agencies involved are working swiftly to contain the spread and prevent further outbreaks.

He observed that the country has been experiencing sporadic outbreaks of Yellow Fever since September 12, 2017, when the first case was confirmed in a 7- year old child from Ifelodun LGA, Kwara State.

Currently, there are over 1,640 suspected cases line-listed with 41 confirmed from the WHO Regional Reference Laboratory in Dakar Senegal.

According to him, there is an ongoing third (3rd) Preventive Mass Vaccination Campaign with a target age group of 9 months – 44 years in Sokoto, Federal Capital Territory, Plateau and some LGAs not covered in the last vaccination campaign in Niger and Kebbi. The vaccination began on the 22nd November 2018 and is expected to last till the 1st of December, 2018”.

He said the recent report from Edo State about a fever of unknown origin is also being investigated, adding that tests done at laboratories in Nigeria have shown that nine of the samples tested positive for Yellow Fever and as such, samples have been forwarded to Dakar, Senegal for confirmation in order to quickly respond to the outbreak.

He added that, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Edo State Epidemiology team, World Health Organisation and other international development partners are working together to rapidly conduct a comprehensive investigation and respond appropriately to the situation on ground.

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