Thursday, December 7, 2023


NCDC: Lassa fever not just a federal problem… states have responsibilities too

NCDC: Lassa fever not just a federal problem… states have responsibilities too
May 03
17:37 2023

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) says state governments also have responsibilities in the fight against Lassa fever.

Ifedayo Adetifa, NCDC director-general, spoke during a two-day colloquium and workshop organised in collaboration with the University College of London (UCL), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and Johns Hopkins Program for International Education in Gynaecology and Obstetrics (JHPIEGO).

The aim of the workshop was to discuss Lassa fever research in Nigeria.

Adetifa said in the last 10 years, the NCDC in collaboration with other stakeholders has led the country’s public health response to annual outbreaks of Lassa fever, while also seeking ways to strengthen health security and curb the continuous disease outbreaks.


He said the two-day colloquium and workshop was a step in the right direction “especially as the annual peak of Lassa fever outbreak is six months away”.

“The focus of this colloquium is to advance the collective efforts toward combating Lassa fever through sharing new ideas, research findings, and best practices related to Lassa fever epidemiology, case management, prevention and control, and molecular studies,” Adetifa said.

“Additionally, we hope to identify national Lassa fever research priorities to guide the development of the next 5-year Lassa fever research agenda for Nigeria.”


The director-general said previous efforts to curb the disease were showing success because fatality figures were low.

“And it’s actually lower in more experienced centres than less experienced centres. So we need to do more in other frontiers for Lassa fever that are opening – Bauchi, Taraba and others,” he said.

“We know there are still gaps, especially at the sub-national level, and that is of strategic importance to us. It is important to recognise this is not just a national problem; states have responsibilities too.”

Meanwhile, according to the NCDC’s data, 897 Lassa fever cases and 154 deaths have been recorded in Nigeria between January 1, and April 23.


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