Panic As Lassa Fever Allegedly Kills Health Officer In Ondo

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A few months after the deadly Lassa Fever was contained in Ondo State, the disease has allegedly killed a health officer at the Kidney Care Centre, Medical Village, Ondo town, Ondo State.

The deceased, who was identified as Rasheedat Mohammed, was said to be a laboratory attendant at the hospital and reportedly died  on Saturday after allegedly being diagnosed with Lassa Fever.

It was alleged that the late laboratory attendant was infected with the disease in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, where she went to visit a relative who had earlier been infected.

The infected relative was said to have also died.

Workers at the care centre claimed that the management of the hospital had refused to take action to protect other workers.

They alleged that the management was aware of the suspected case of Lassa fever in the hospital, adding that it was reported to the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Akinwumi Akinbodewa.

One of the health officers, who spoke to our correspondent on Tuesday on condition of anonymity, said the workers at the kidney care centre were working in fear.

She said, “We don’t know what to do; one of us has been killed by Lassa Fever. We have appealed to the management to conduct medical tests on us, but the CMD did not want us to cry out because of the image of the hospital and the state; but our life is at risk now.

“We expected the hospital to have taken our blood samples to Irrua Specialists Hospital to check whether any one of us had been infected. But they have not done anything about it.”

Another worker alleged that Akinbodewa was playing politics with the matter, adding that the management was not being proactive in containing the spread of the disease among the medical personnel of the hospital.

It was gathered that some of the workers  had begun to visit the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, to have blood screening to ascertain whether their blood was free of the disease or not.

When contacted, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Wahab Adegbenro, said there were no more cases of Lassa Fever in the state.

He confirmed the death of the medical worker at the hospital but said she died from complication of liver problem and not Lassa Fever.The CMD of the hospital refused to react to the allegation, saying he could not grant an interview on the telephone.

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