The World Health Organization has commended the federal government of its improved response to outbreak of diseases in the country.
This was said by Dr Wondi Alemu, the Country’s Director of WHO during the Emergency National Council of Health Meeting organised by Federal Ministry of Health on Monday in Abuja.
Alemu said he observed a lot of changes in the last 14 months when he assumed office as country representative of WHO.
According to him, the changes are in terms of quick response and sharing of information with international communities and development partners within the country.
He said “this is another laudable gesture by Federal Ministry of Health.
“I will also communicate to my colleagues that Nigeria is responding much better to disease outbreaks than it used to be in the past.”
He said that Lassa fever was not new but it was more tragic recently, adding that what made it more tragic was the passing away of health workers while attending to patients.
He noted that “this is something that should not happen, hence the need to increase awareness on the diseases, particularly on protecting health workers while delivering services.
“As health workers, you may be obliged not to observe the basic protective measures but that is risking our lives.
“Ultimately, it is about having basic equipment available at all times at the facility level. It should be part and parcel of the operations in healthcare delivery.
“We believe that next time this could be avoided particularly sacrificing our health workers due to the lack of basic equipment and protective kits.”
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said the meeting was summoned to discuss the state of public health challenges in Nigeria with focus on some challenges facing the nation in the past few weeks.
Adewole added that Lassa fever had been a current outbreak in the country, stressing that Nigeria had battled with series of outbreaks in the past few months.
He also urged state governments and other key stakeholders to work with Nigeria Centre of Disease Control to address outbreak of diseases.
The Niger Commissioner for Health, Dr Mustapha Jibril, commended the minister of health for the timely meeting.
Jibril said Niger Government was able to do a lot to curtail disease outbreak ravaging the nation.
The commissioner added that “I am happy that Niger is not among the states that have this challenge.
“In 2016, we had a challenge from Lassa fever where 16 people died and Niger was among the state’s worst hit by the outbreak then.”
However Niger Government set up isolation centres, procured Hilux vehicles for the state’s epidemiological team and emergency operation centres with the entire gadget required to do the job.