Ondo to build more laboratories as Lassa fever, COVID-19 claim over 110 lives

The Ondo State Government has promised to build more laboratories centres across the state to curb infectious diseases, saying more than 100 people have been killed by deadly Coronavirus and Lassa Fever in the state in the last eight months.

The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jibayo Adeyeye, stated this while speaking with a team of officials from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on the inspection of the ongoing molecular biology laboratory and the new isolation centre projects at the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital, Ondo town.

Adeyeye who noted that Lassa fever is more deadly than the novel coronavirus said over 80 death had been recorded in the state due to Lassa fever and attributed 31 death to the coronavirus outbreak in the last eight months.

He stressed the need to put in place laboratory for infectious diseases rather than moving the samples to other parts of the country which was responsible for the death of some of the people who contracted the diseases.

According to the commissioner, the Lassa Fever disease was more ravaging than the COVID-19 in the state but many people were not aware of the fact.

He said, “The Lassa fever is a big problem more than the COVID-19 in our state. The statistics at our disposal shows that from January till date, 31 deaths have been ascribed to COVID-19 in Ondo State. At this same period, we found about 80 deaths from Lassa Fever.

“Of the people that were positive of COVID-19, less than two per cent of them died and 27 per cent of those that were positive of Lassa fever died. You can now imagine which one is more of a problem.

“We are not saying COVID-19 is not a problem, it is a problem but we can not say because COVID-19 is a problem and we neglect other problem peculiar to us as a state.

“That is why the governor gave the order to build this infrastructure (lab) to make sure that whatever infectious disease that we may have in the state we will be able to overcome it.”

Jibayo explained that the state had been doing its best to control diseases without waiting for the intervention of the NCDC, and said

“whatever they (NCDC) give will be a plus, we are doing our best”

The NCDC team, led by an officer from the Surveillance Department of the NCDC, Mrs Eunice Akano, expressed satisfaction with the laboratory put in place by the state government

She said it would go a long way to help reduce deaths from the deadly virus in the state, saying Ondo state still ranked among the best in the provision of health facilities to the people of the state.

She urged other state governments to emulate Ondo state in the area of providing good and qualitative health facilities for the people

Speaking on the projects, the Chairman of the Ondo State Interministerial Committee on COVID-19, Prof. Adesegun Fatusi, said that the laboratory was going to take care of biological issues that the state might be facing.

He explained that the laboratory which will be inaugurated in the next one week was built to the specifications of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and assured that the isolation centre would be built at each of the senatorial districts of the state.




Nigerian Tribune


Balogun Damilola