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Exclusive – Lassa Fever: Lagos Hospital Faults Closure Rumour Over Admission Of Infected Patient  


By Tajudeen Balogun, Head, Nigeria Bureau

Authorities of the Ahmadiyyah Muslim Hospital Ojokoro, a Lagos suburb, have faulted the speculation which was spread over the weekend that the premises has been sealed up.

Investigations carried out by our Correspondent revealed that due to recent development, in which a patient who was referred from the hospital to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) tested positive to Lassa Fever disease, the hospital instead of closure rumour, is presently under “surveillance”, hence, providing partial service for now.

While speaking with very top officials of the Ahmadiyyah Jama’ah, the owner of the hospital, AFRICAN EXAMINER Correspondent who visited the Ojokoro complex of the Hospital Sunday, was told that it was not true that the hospital was closed due to the confirmed Lassa fever patient who was admitted by it early last week.

The patient, the top official who preferred not to be named in the print explained that the patient, who is an undergraduate of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria was admitted into the Hospital, but nobody had the fore knowledge that he had been infected with the disease, until he was referred and so confirmed by the LUTH.

AFRICAN EXAMINER was told upon realizing he was refrred by Ahmadiyyah Hospital, the officials from the epdimiology department from the Lagos State Ministry of Health visited the hospital mid last week and Thursday; took the blood samples of the patients who shared the ward with the infected patient and staff of the hospital who had contact with the young patient and promised the results would be released this week.

The top EXCO member as well as some staffers of the Hospital confirmed that following the incident, the Ministry has fumigated the ward the patient was admitted. They added that the ward which is in the first floor of the two-storey Hospital has been vacated by other patients.

While responding, some senior members of the staff who responded to our Correspondent counterd that none of the staff was isolated due to the incident. They stressed that the staff were in high State of health, contending that the matter has been blown out of proportion.

AFRICAN EXAMINER also gathered that the officials of the State Ministry of Health, visited the Hospital yesterday (Saturday). They explained during the visit, members of staff were lectured on the deadly disease and the effective way to handle and manage it, especially on how to avoid being infected with it and its further spread.

The staff confirmed that as the Hospital is still under surveillance, the intake of new patients and full service has been temporarily suspended and this might last till after the Ministry officials visit Monday and make pronunciation on whether the watch should continue or lifted.

When asked what the management of the Hospital and its ownership intended to do with respect to correcting the information about the sealing up, another top official told AFRICAN EXAMINER that the idea of reaching out to the public via the mass media has been suggested, but he quickly added that this would be finally resolved after the submission of the Chief Medical Consultant of the Hospital on the situation report within the hospital and in relation with the Health Ministry to the group’s Executives.

AFRICAN EXAMINER originally demanded to speak with the Hospital Chief Physician, but told was out on a visit to another Ahmadiyyah Hospital in Apapa, Lagos, which one of its Doctors died over the weekend. Our Correspondent was however assured he would be available Monday.

Meanwhile, the confirmed Lassa fever patient who is in the isolated ward in LUTH AFRICAN EXAMINER learnt is responding to treatment.

Residents of Lagos last week were thrown into panic due to reported case of the disease in the State. The disease claimed a victim who came from Kaduna, in Abuja last Friday.


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