LASSA FEVER SCARE, FMC YOLA AND JOURNALIST WITHOUT ATTITUDE

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Fancy Banco

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LASSA FEVER SCARE, FMC YOLA AND JOURNALIST WITHOUT ATTITUDE

The head of information and media relations with FMC Yola received series of phone calls today.

The entire media establishment in Adamawa State, the reporters and the correspondents with both electronic and print media at the national and international levels would want to confirm the authenticity of a report published in one of the national dailies, which linked Federal Medical Centre, Yola with Lassa fever outbreak.

The report claimed that lives were lost, about 45 nurses and 17 medical doctors with FMC Yola who have had contact with, while managing the Lassa fever case, were infected with the haemorrhagic virus hence were being quarantined at the health facility.

The head of information and media relations with the Centre said, the report could have been sourced from either rumour or the influence of hangover liquor. It is, by the ethics of journalism, unprofessional.

The correspondent just sat in a gallery or bear parlour, probably must have had from a member of the family of the casualty and decided to build an ocean of fable, which he fumbled and tumbled into, making double bubbles, having been swayed by the wave to subjectivity tied to unprofessionalism other than serial sensationalism.

The information and media relations invited the media, in general, to have the FMC side of the story for a balanced reportage.

Dr. Awang Sati Klein is a consultant physician who majored in infection diseases and how to get them controlled. He s the coordinator of the haemorrhagic fevers in FMC Yola. Dr. Joel Yohannah a consultant gynaecologist is the head of clinical services, currently serving in his capacity, as the acting medical director FMC Yola; these professionals have had a good time with the newsmen dispelling the rumour for a balanced story. The head of information equally has his take, tasking the media on objective reportage rather than feeding the public with grapevine junk.

Lassa fever is an infectious, often fatal, viral disease identified in West Africa. It is marked by high fever, muscle pain, ulcers of the mucous membranes, headaches, hemorrhaging and heart and kidney failure. The virus is being spread by rodent rats.

Adamawa state till this day, has not recorded any case of Lassa fever; any casualty suspected of being infect, has had a link with Taraba state; Dr. Awang and Dr. Joel would say.

A man working in Taraba state was alleged to have come with the virus unknowingly, when he visited his family in Yola.

The man was admitted at a private clinic. Having been suspected of being infected with a hemorrhagic virus, the man was referred to FMC Yola where he was quarantined. Samples were sent for investigation at hemorrhagic fever centre. However, the man died on complications resulting from what was suspected, a day before the result of the investigation was brought back.

His mother-in-law has been managing the casualty at home and while at the private hospital. Confirming that, bearing in mind also that she was developing fever, FMC Yola sent its well trained hemorrhagic fever health professionals with ambulance to convey the woman to the health facility for further investigation.

She s now quarantined and is receiving appropriate healthcare services, pending the outcome of the investigation.

List and contacts of those who were said to be with the casualty of Lassa fever while at the private clinic and at home, were taken. They were asked to visit the health facility anytime they might have felt severe headache or fever.

The real figure is one death resulting from confirmed Lassa fever and one suspected case still under investigation. Other than that, there s no any casualty, Dr. Awang confirmed this.

It is not true that our nurses and 17 medical doctors are being infected with Lassa fever. This is balderdash, Dr. Joel the Head of Clinical Services with FMC Yola refuted.


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