(L-R) Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah and Acting NPHIL Boss, Dr. Mosoka P. Fallah Addressing the Joint Press Conference (L-R) Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah and Acting NPHIL Boss, Dr. Mosoka P. Fallah Addressing the Joint Press Conference

Most of Lassa Fever Patients Now Remarkably Improving - MoH, NPHIL Give Update

The Acting Director- General of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), Dr. Mosoka P. Fallah, has disclosed that most of the Lassa Fever patients are now remarkably improving without even letting the public to know or without disrupting the normal health services or economic activities that was done during the Ebola.

Dr. Fallah, who made the disclosure on Friday, November 8, 2019 at a joint press conference held at NPHIL Head Offices in Congo Town, outside Monrovia, recalled that since the month of August, there have been series of cases about lassa.

However, he said they managed to contain them within 24 to 48 hours and isolated the patients and that most of the patients are now remarkably improving without evening letting the public to know or without disrupting normal health services or economic activities that was done during the Ebola.

The Acting NPHIL Boss attributed the remarkable improvement in the cases of lassa to what he called a resilient health system that is being championed by the Ministry of Health(MoH).

Dr. Fallah explained that a resilient heath system simply means that a system is able to detect an epidemic threat and response to that threat without disrupting normal health services.
Earlier, the Minister of Health, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, who opened the joint MoH and NPHIL press conference, said the press conference was called to inform the public via the media about the extent of works that have been done at NPHIL in dealing with the cases of lassa in the country.

Minister Jallah, who bragged of the capacity of both the MoH and NPHIL in dealing with any outbreak of disease in the country, however, urged the public, including health practitioners to always take precaution in a bid to prevent further outbreak of disease. 

According to her, it is important for the people to know about lassa and keep their eyes opening to prevent further cases. 

It can be recalled that few months ago, Liberia’s Health authorities declared a health emergency following the outbreak of Lassa fever which claimed several precious lives.

Liberia's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Francis Kateh, told reporters at the time that four counties had been so far affected by the disease, a viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus.

"What is more concerning to us is the fact that when health workers that have the authority and have been trained to identify and take care of others are being infected, then that escalates the process to another level," said Kateh.

He said a laboratory technician had also been identified among those killed by the outbreak between January 1 and August 25.

The disease had spread across the counties of Nimba, Grand Bassa, Bong, and Grand Kru, the official noted, saying the case fatality rate is 36 percent, and that 56 percent confirmed cases were men.

The situation was alarming and becoming a major issue of concern because it was growing out of the areas identified as "Lassa Belt" in the country. Usually, the Lassa fever escalates during the dry season in the West African country.

Humans usually become infected with the Lassa virus from exposure to urine or feces of infected mastomys rats. Other than common preventive measures such as washing hands regularly, the World Health Organization has recommended keeping cats

Meanwhile, Dr. Fallah, providing further update, said: “On the overall, we have done well this year. But we need more awareness. We will be reaching out to the counties and engage our people to provide more awareness as it relates to prevention of this disease.”

While praising Grand Bassa County for being very innovative, he said the latest cases from there show that NPHIL and local heath teams are working robustly in dealing with Lassa fever, while acknowledging some challenges.
He thanked the international partners for the support and health teams for their hard work, but advised them(health workers) to be suspicious of patients with severe fever, especially from areas that prone to the disease.

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