A Nasarawa State-based medical doctor, Dr Ahmed Isaiah, has died of Lassa fever at the National Hospital, Abuja.
Members of the Nigeria Medical Association, Nasarawa State chapter, held a procession in Lafia on Tuesday, 10 January 2023, in honour of the doctor who died on Saturday, 31 December 2022.
Dr Peter Attah, Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), in the State confirmed that Isaiah died of Lassa fever.
He said: “As an association, we got the information when he was dead already, but from our investigation, the sickness started like a fever, but he kept working even when he was on treatment.
“While on call on Saturday, 24th December 2022, he collapsed at the theatre while carrying out surgery on a patient and his family took him to the National Hospital, Abuja. Unfortunately, we lost him.”
He added that a post-mortem confirmed that Dr Isaiah died of Lassa fever and lamented that the deceased had to go to work and attempted to carry out surgery on a patient even when he was sick, as there were only two medical doctors at the General Hospital, Garaku, Nasarawa State at that period.
“How can only two doctors handle an entire local government area of more than 15,000 population? The workload was too much. Government should employ more doctors and introduce incentives to curtail the brain drain in the State,” Attah said.
He lamented that the deceased, who graduated five years ago, died in his prime and left behind a wife, children and loved ones.
He further urged the Nasarawa State government to also increase the hazard allowances for doctors and should immediately begin the payment of call duty allowances.
In his response, the Chief Medical Director of the hospital management board, Dr Egba Edogo, consoled the association over the loss of Dr Isaiah, who was an employee of the board.
He noted that the deceased was highly dedicated to his duty while alive and was also good to those that worked with him.
Edogo said that the board was still in shock over his death and prayed that God gives his loved one’s strength to bear the loss, forgive his shortcomings and grant him eternal rest.
He added that the source of the Lassa fever was yet to be confirmed as and advised healthcare workers to be more alert at identifying possible patients with certain health challenges and take precautionary measures when attending to them.
According to Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Lassa fever is an animal-borne, acute viral illness spread by the common African rat. It said that about 100,000 to 300,000 infections of Lassa fever occur annually, with about 5,000 deaths.