Medical doctor dies of Lassa Fever in Rivers
By Jimitota Onoyume
PORT HARCOURT—A medical doctor with Rivers State-owned Braithwait Memorial Specialist Hospital, BMH, Dr. Livy Ijamala, has died from Lassa Fever, bringing to three the number of people killed by the disease in the state.
Chairman of the state branch of Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Dr. Furo Green, disclosed this yesterday in Port Harcourt, saying the late doctor, Ijamala, who died in the early hours of yesterday from the ailment, had contact with patients infected with Lassa Fever.
Dr. Furo added that the late medical doctor had been buried in line with recommendations of World Health Organization, WHO, for deaths from contagious diseases.
He also said a team from WHO had already visited the hospital for assessment, adding that the hospital had been decontaminated and that those who had contacts with the late Dr. Ijamala had been placed on observation.
He said: “Last night, one of our hard-working doctors in the department of obstetrics gynaecology, Dr. Livy Ijamala, lost his life following infection with Lassa Fever.
This is the price medical doctors and health personnel pay for offering health services to the public.
“The hospital is being decontaminated as we speak. All medical doctors and healthcare personnel that had primary contact with the late medical doctor have been placed under observation.”
… as doctors begin strike
He also said medical doctors in the state were on three days strike to protest the frequent abduction of medical doctors in the state.
He said within the week two of his colleagues, Dr. Isaac Opurum and Dr. Ib Aprioku were taken hostage at separate times. He said in 2015, 21 doctors were abducted in the state.
According to him, the warning strike was to draw attention to the plight of medical doctors.
He said: “While we are not happy to go on strike, the strike now appears to be a blessing in disguise because fewer doctors and patients came to the hospital today, thereby, reducing the rate of contacts among medical doctors and patients.”