Lassa Fever: Osun lawmaker-elect laments FG’s neglect of rural dwellers

Lassa Fever: Osun lawmaker-elect laments FG’s neglect of rural dwellers

The Osun House of Assembly member-elect for Odo Otin State Constituency, Mr Adewale Egbedun, has blamed the recent surge in the cases of Lassa Fever in the country on the federal government’s negligence of the rural dwellers.

Egbedun maintained that the federal government needed to take a proactive approach in tackling the scourge of Lassa Fever, just like it did during the COVID-19 pandemic rather than leaving state governments to bear the burden of prevention and treatment.

He noted that many rural communities lack quality healthcare facilities that could manage health emergency situations, adding that many rural dwellers, who often are the victims of Lassa Fever, most times can’t afford the needed resources to access private quality healthcare.

A statement signed by the lawmaker obtained in Osogbo on Saturday, further read, “Nigeria Centre for Disease Control in its 15th-week Lassa Fever situation report, said a total of 877 confirmed cases of Lassa fever were recorded in 26 states and 101 local government areas from January 1 to April 16, 2023.

“It also revealed that, during the period under review, a total of 4,702 suspected cases were recorded. The public health institution also noted that the case-fatality ratio of the outbreak stood at 17.3 per cent, with the current death toll.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria is too negligent of the well-being of rural dwellers. This is the reason we have a surge in the confirmed cases of Lassa Fever in the last few weeks. Rural Communities lack the appropriate healthcare system that can handle cases like Lassa Fever and many of the rural dwellers who, at the lower level of the ladder, can not afford private healthcare.

“So, what we need is a nationalistic approach to fight Lassa Fever just as we did during the COVID-19 pandemic and not that each state government will be left to bear the brunch.”