The Lagos State government in south west Nigeria has confirmed the recent outbreak of Febrile Rash Illnesses FRI which reportedly claimed the lives of about twenty children in the state.
In a statement signed by the state Commissioner for Health Dr. Jide Idris, the fatality of the outbreak was confirmed as the graves of the victims who died from the FRI were identified by their parents.
The Commissioner stated that the state Ministry in its swift reaction had notified the Federal Ministry of Health and WHO which immediately constituted a team of Epidemiologists to investigate the outbreak and institute appropriate measures to prevent further spread of the disease.
The Commissioner said that “thirty-Four cases have been line-listed so far with Seventeen males and Seventeen females. Seventeen dead patients have also been identified with 9 males and 8 females. All are within the age range of 8-72 months”.
“Blood samples from the patients and water samples from the community have been taken to the Virology Reference for further investigation,” he added.
Dr. Idris further stressed that the source of the infection was still under investigation.
The Commissioner for Health explained that intensive awareness creation and community mobilization and health education is ongoing through meetings and community dialogues with continuous health education on immunization, measles and personal and environmental hygiene.
He said “House-to house search for cases is still ongoing with about Forty seven sick children found out of thirty-four that were line-listed as Febrile Rash Illnesses.
“A total of Five Hundred and Eighty-Seven eligible children were immunized with measles vaccine and administered with Vitamin A.”
He gave the assurance that the Ministry would follow up on suspected children who are undergoing treatment to monitor recovery and intervene with further medical attention.
Dr. Idris said that the Ministry would conduct comprehensive supplemental immunisation for all childhood preventable diseases in the community.
“The Ministry would conduct a community dialogue with the community to build confidence and guarantee safety to ensure continuous outreach immunization services in conjunction with the community and provide a Health centre for community considering the vast nature of community.”
The Commissioner who promised to collaborate with key stakeholders in the community to ensure success of any health program in the community said that government was presently intensifying efforts to conduct mapping of all slums and blighted areas in the State towards reducing the health hazards associated with such areas.