Ebonyi Lassa fever outbreak: Doctors protest colleagues’ Death

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Doctors in  Ebonyi State yesterday blamed the Federal Government for the death of their colleagues when they staged a peaceful protest at the Government House gate Abakaliki to protest the death  their members who died from Lassa fever infection.

The Nation had reported the death of two doctors and a nurse working at Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki, FETHA to suspected Lassa Fever infection.

The doctors gave the names of the dead health workers as Felix Ali, an indigene of Ebonyi State, Dr.  Abel Udo from Akwa Ibom State and a nurse, Mr. Innocent Iwe, from Imo State.

The doctors, who carried placards with inscriptions such as,  “We mourn the death of our colleagues”, “Federal Government should make the virology centre in Ebonyi functional”, “We can’t be safe without a functional virology center” among others said apart from those confirmed dead,  another house officer was in a critical situation at the Irrua Specialist Hospital, Edo State.

The leader of the  doctors, Onwe Mbam, said since 2005 till date,  there has not been any year Lassa fever  killed a health worker.

He said Governor   David Umahi, after the construction of a virology centre, handed it over to the Federal Government, which promised to equip it.

“We had expected the Federal Government which had before now promised to equip the place to do so. Dr.  Felix stayed there a day and his counterpart, Dr. Udo while the nurse stayed four days there before he was also taken to Irrua where he also died”.

Mbam said: “Immediately Dr. Felix died, they wrapped him in a body bag, put him in an ambulance and moved him down from Irrua to Federal Teaching Hospital gate where we followed him to his village. Before then we had already communicated them to dig a grave before our arrival. On getting to the village, we put on our hazmat suit, brought out the corpse, put it in the casket we bought and dumped him in the grave.

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