Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, AMLSN, said the country lacks adequate diagnostic laboratory facilities despite the persistent outbreak of Lassa fever and other haemorrhagic diseases since the first case was detected in 1969.
AMLSM said this situation is not in tandem with the principle of universal health coverage which has to be accessible, available and affordable.
In a statement signed by its National President, Alhaji Toyosi Raheem, and sent to Nigerian Pilot, yesterday, the association also expressed worry over the current re-emergence of Lassa fever which has claimed many lives after the last outbreak in 2012.
Following the causalities, AMLSN urged government at all levels to ensure the composition of a strategic team of health professionals that will be dedicated to surveillance, testing and general case management of Lassa fever and other emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases in the country.
It also tasked government at all levels and other stakeholders to step up advocacy on Lassa fever including the public such as market men and women, food vendors and hawkers etc to have sufficient knowledge on how to prevent rats from having access to food kept in stores and warehouses, especially food that can be eaten uncooked such as garri, groundnuts, biscuits, meat, fruits.
The association also called on government to urgently consider the establishment of specialised public health laboratories against emerging fevers like Ebola, Lassa fever and other haemorrhagic viruses.
It commended the ministry of health for its prompt supply of rabavirin to affected states and intervention to contain the spread of the disease.
The union commiserated with affected families and advised the public to ensure that persons with preliminary symptoms are taken to the nearest hospital and to ensure high standards of personal and environmental hygiene, as well as avoid bush meat delicacy.

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