LIBERIA: WHO, CDC Join Bassa Health Team To Fight Lassa Fever After 4 Deaths

BUCHANAN,  – The negative impact of Lassa Fever on more than twenty-five residents of Grand Bassa 4th electoral district has claimed the attention of national and international health authorities who have launched an awareness campaign in the county.

The awareness was triggered by the death of four persons as a result of the disease; a situation that places the 25 confirmed persons and 71 suspects at risk to falling prey in the absence of swift medical intervention.

Lassa Fever is an animal borne viral that is caused by roaches and rats, particularly in nations across West Africa where environment are not given sanitary care and hygienic practices are ignored.

Research shows that people can become infected when they eat infected rat or consume food contaminated by multimammate rats excretions; a condition that results to profuse bleeding (hemorrhagic) most commonly in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria; medical sources revealed.

During the intervention through awareness in Wayzohn City, Superintendent Janjay Baikpeh led a delegation that included World Health Organization, National Public Health Institute of Liberia and County Health officials to the affected environment near the Concession area of the Liberia Agriculture Rubber Company, LAC.

At the ceremony, the District Health Officer, Koboi Sehmine narrated that the Lassa Fever spilled over from LAC environment, affecting nearby towns in three weeks with seventy-one residents declared Suspects of the virus.

Mr. Sehmine said in some camps, residents insisted on eating rats despite health practitioners’ earlier warning regarding the risk associated with consuming dead rats.

The day-long exercise considered cleaning up and community forum that enlightened the citizenry in the presence of the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) Representative.

“We need to take ownership of our health and also help save other citizens,” Grand Bassa County Superintendent Janjay Baikpeh declared at the hugely attended occasion in Electoral District Four.

Since eradicating Lassa fever requires collective work, Supt. Baikpeh admonished residents of affected and non-affected communities to live in accordance with the health guidelines being laid out by the health authorities in the interest of ensuring a Lassa Fever-free county.

As it stands, only the Liberia Agricultural Company Hospital is providing cure for such troubling health condition in the county, creating a need for immense Medical support to the facility.

With this, the partners committed their relentless support to the Liberian Health Team in combating the health threats in Grand Bassa County, adding “everyone deserves to live.”

Historically, Lassa Fever was first discovered in 1969 in Nigeria when two missionary nurses became ill with the Virus; a Virus that obtained its name from a Village known as Lassa where the first documentary was done


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About Cholo Brooks 13994 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.