Lassa Fever Outbreak: Deaths, infection increased in Bauchi, says Commissioner

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Authorities in Bauchi say there has been an upsurge in deaths and infections caused by the Lassa fever outbreak in the state.

No fewer than 16 deaths and 130 infections have been confirmed since January, the state Commissioner for Health, Sabi’u Gwalabe, disclosed on Friday.

He was briefing reporters at the end of the State Executive Council (SEC) meeting on Friday in Bauchi.

Mr Gwadabe added that the cases were higher than the previous ones. 

“We have had some outbreaks, especially when we discussed the Lassa fever outbreak during the council meeting.

“This year, we had a higher number of Lassa fever suspected cases, 16 deaths and 130 confirmed cases.

“The mortality rate is 12.4 per cent but even though it’s dropping, there are some parts of the state which are affected more than others,” he said.

He listed the areas worst hit by the disease to include Alkaleri, Kirfi, Bauchi and Tafawa Balewa.

The Commissioner said the council also reviewed some of the achievements recorded in the health sector under the Bala Mohammed’s administration.

He said the government had rehabilitated and equipped 14 general hospitals and primary healthcare facilities across the state.

Mr Gwalabe hinted that the governor will soon inaugurate two modern primary healthcare facilities at Fadamamada and Gida-Dubu in Bauchi metropolis.

The government, he said, contributed N100 million counterpart fund to the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund, and engaged 200 midwives on contract basis under the National Primary Healthcare Gateway to address manpower gaps in the sector.

Also speaking, Yahuza Adamu, the state Head of Service, said the governor had approved N500 million for payment of gratuities to retirees.

He said the state government had adopted effective modalities to upset the backlog of gratuities and improved the welfare of pensioners and those still in service.

“It is a known fact that if there is any issue that bedevilled this government and the government before, it is that of gratuity arrears.

“In an effort to ensure that this ugly trend has not continued, a lasting solution has been sought and implemented.

“The N500 million is for gratuity only and for the record purposes, Bauchi state government has been paying pension and salaries as and when due,” he said. 

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