Monkey Pox: Anambra Activates Emergency Response Team
By Chukwudi Nwauba
Anambra State Government has activated emergency response team that would contain the monkey pox outbreak in some parts of the state.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Afam Obidike, who disclosed this on Friday, while addressing news men at the Jerome Udoji Secretariat Complex, Awka.
He urged Ndi Anambra not to panic as measures have been put in place to tackle the disease.
“Monkey Pox, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) facts book is caused by a monkey pox virus, a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family of Poxviridae.
“It’s usually a self-limited disease with the symptoms lasting 2 to 4 weeks. Severe cases can occur. In recent times, the case fatality has been around 3-6%, transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, or with material contaminated with the virus.’’
The Commissioner noted that Gov. Charles Soludo led administration has a mandate to provide a healthy and safe environment for Ndi Anambra through prevention and control of diseases of public importance and other health related outbreaks.
He said, “the state government has been on alert mode following the report of the disease early this year across some states; we were able to detect this on time because we were prepared for this.”
He explained that the state Emergency Preparedness and Response team had put relevant surveillance measures in place toward ending the spread of the outbreak.
The commissioner, however, urged residents of the state not to panic and report to the hospital for proper examination whenever they noticed rashes on their skins.
“Few weeks ago, two suspected cases of monkey pox were reported in Anambra East, Onitsha and Oyi Local Government Areas, out of which the case from Anambra East LGA was confirmed positive.
“The case is currently at the isolation centre of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, where he is receiving treatment and recovering.
“In light of the above, Gov. Soludo immediately declared the incident an outbreak and an emergency preparedness and response committee meeting was immediately convened to tackle the outbreak.
“The meeting was attended by relevant stakeholders including WHO team and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) who are providing necessary assistance to the state.
“Planning for immediate response to the outbreak and surveillance, Laboratory, Case management, Risk Communication and Community Engagement, Infection Prevention and Control and Safe Burial pillars, were activated.’’
Dr. Obidike also announced the commencement of the training of health Personnel and Response Officers on enhanced active case search, sample collections and monkey pox management as well as intensify public awareness.
“Once it is established at the hospital, the patient will be taken to our isolation centres for treatment. We have activated all our isolation centres across the state.”
He urged the public to remain calm and stay safe as the state health team mitigates the outbreak of Monkey pox in the state.
“We thanked Mr. Governor for his continued support and also all our partners who have continued to identify with us in health emergencies.”
Earlier, WHO State Coordinator, Dr. Adamu Abdulnasir, pledged the organization’s support to the state in terms of outbreak response, surveillance and capacity building.
“Since we heard about the two suspected cases, WHO has supported in the areas of sample collection and taking the sample to the lab.
“When the results came out, we carried out contact tracing together with the state as well as case and risks management.
“Nigeria so far, have recorded 41 cases of Monkey pox with one death and government is taking proactive measures to bring this outbreak to a stop as well sensitize people on how to prevent the disease.”
The UNICEF Consultant, Dr. G. Diden, assured the commitment of his organization in supporting the state to contain the outbreak.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Medical and Pharmaceutical Matters, Dr. Okechukwu Nnadozie, was also at the briefing. (MOI)