IRRUA-The seventh edition of the Nurses Seminar being organised by the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH), Irrua has held at the hospital with this year’s edition being devoted to creating more awareness about Lassa Fever, its management and prevention among health workers, especially nurses.
The seminar which is a biannual event is part of the hospital management’s contribution towards nursing education which according to the hospital, is a veritable tool in the strengthening of the nursing profession for greater effectiveness and up-to-date service delivery.
In a welcome address delivered by the Chief Medical Director of the Irrual Specialist Teaching Hospital, (ISTH), Prof. George Akpede, said the seminar’s theme- “Addressing the Manace of Viral Haemorrhagic Fever (Lassa Fever) in Nigeria” was most appropriate considering the enormity of Lassa Fever epidemic in Nigeria. According to the CMD, the risk population in Nigeria is estimated to be up to 15 million with about three million illnesses and 58,330 deaths per annum, adding that lassa fever endemic may account for 10 to 15 per cent of hospital admissions and about 1/3rd of maternal mortality.
He pointed out that between 2007 and 2008, lassa fever has been reported in over 10 states of the country as well as the federal capital territory, and noted however that Edo State bears the brunt of lassa fever epidemic in the country, especially in Edo North and Central Senatorial Districts where several persons have been lost to the disease. In acknowledgement of its concern for the scourge, Prof. Akpede who is the chairman of the National Lassa Fever Stakeholders’ Forum, said the federal ministry of Health designated ISTH and two other federal tertiary hospital as centres for the control and management of the disease, disclosing that the hospital through assistance from its international partners in Germany and the United States, has established a BSL3 Lassa fever diagnostic laboratory with the capacity to diagnose the disease within few hours of the arrival of patients.