As children continue to die from preventable diseases, the Lagos State Government recently recorded 25 deaths due to childhood rashes also known as Febrile Rash Illnesses, FRIs.
Following this development, a Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, a leading maternal and child health agency, is creating awareness on childhood febrile rash illnesses and associated diseases.
In a press release sent to Nigerian Pilot, the NGO said the awareness was created in order to curb the spread of diseases and aid in the prevention of needless deaths of children in Nigeria.
Also listed in the awareness programme are associated diseases such as meningitis; parvovirus b19 disease; hand, foot and mouth disease; chickenpox; measles; and rubella.
The NGO said, ‘’due to the myriad of diseases that are present with fever and rashes – which vary in size, intensity and location, it is necessary to be cognisant of other determining symptoms, as well as the modes of transmission of the varying diseases.’’
According to the release, the rashes on hand, foot and mouth disease display symptoms including fever, poor appetite, malaise and sore throat between one and two days before mouth sores develop.
The symptoms of chickenpox include headache, general body ache, backache and malaise, adding that both diseases are classified as febrile rash illnesses, yet, knowing the difference while seeking treatment could be the difference between life and death.
It further stated that meningitis which is another disease that presents with fever and rashes should not be overlooked when evaluating cases of childhood febrile rash illnesses.
‘’Viral meningitis is less severe than bacterial meningitis with symptoms of bacterial meningitis commencing suddenly and escalating quickly. In addition, those at risk include infants and children under the age of five.’’
While symptoms may not be applicable to all, the usual indicator of bacterial meningitis in young children include high fever, vomiting, drowsiness, convulsions or seizures and a distinctive rash. It should be noted that bacterial meningitis can result in blood poisoning or septicaemia which can be fatal. Viral meningitis on the other hand, mirrors flu-like symptoms including headaches, fever and diarrhoea, in more severe cases. Nonetheless, all suspected cases of meningitis should be treated with urgent medical attention.
Meanwhile, Founder of Wellbeing Foundation Africa, Mrs Toyin Saraki, said to prevent the outbreak of transmittable diseases such as those categorised under childhood febrile rash illnesses, she recommends that all children undergo routine immunisation and receive immediate treatment once disease symptoms are observed.
Also the foundation urged the public to be alert and pay strict vigilance, to avoid the spread of these febrile rash illnesses to other parts of Nigeria.