Nigeria: Nurses embark on awareness campaign against Lassa Fever
By Mohammad Ibrahim
Abuja, Feb 16: National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) during an awareness campaign warned Nigerians, particularly its members to take precautionary measures against lassa fever and other diseases in the country.
Lassa fever has so far claimed hundred lives in 26 states out of 36 states accross the country according to the country's Health ministry.The Federal government has since set up measures to fight the dreaded disease that is spread by rats found in West Africa according to health experts.
The Nurses group In an efforts to prevent the spread of the disease staged an advocacy campaign against the dreaded disease across the country, particularly Abuja Nigeria's capital.
The chairperson Comrade Deborah Yusuf said the awareness campaign was to educate members of the public about the precautionary measures needed against the dreaded disease.
The nurses union also advised its members to take measures in protecting themselves from the disease.
The union said all hands must be on deck to prevent more nurses from losing their lives as many have died while rendering care to patients.
Chairperson of the Nurses in Abuja, Comrade Deborah Yusuf, in a statement said when universal precaution is carried out effectively by nurses, it will reduce or minimize the spread of the disease.
" The measures will have reduce the most infectious diseases through cross infection from patients to nurses or other health care personnel.
“All nurses at the entry point of every health care facility must use a personal protective equipment, that is the use of gloves, eye goggles, gowns, shoes especially on patients that present the signs and symptoms similar to that of Lassa fever,
" Such symptoms include: headache, general body malaise, fever, sore throat, pains, cold, rashes, vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding from orifices of the body.
" Universal precaution should be applied until proven otherwise by the laboratory investigations," she said.
Yusuf said in the event of an established case, isolation should be done immediately and the patient will benefit from barrier nursing, adding that nurses are most times at the receiving end as they come into direct contact with the patient’s faeces, urine and other body fluids, as well as secretions from an infected patient.
Yusuf tasked nurses to work towards tackling the disease through educating patients to imbibe the spirit of living in hygienic environment, free from rodents that could cause food contamination.
The chairperson further called on government to engage all stakeholders whenever there is outbreak of diseases, adding that every association has a role to play in contributing its quota in the health care delivery, disease prevention and control.