The Federal Government has confirmed about 1,640 suspected cases of yellow fever from across states where there have been an outbreak.
Executive Secretary NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, who made this known while briefing newsmen on Monday in Abuja, also said that the World Health Organisation laboratory in Dakar, Senegal confirmed 41 cases.
Dr. Shuaib noted that tests conducted in laboratories in Nigeria based on the recent outbreak of a strange fever in Edo State, has shown that nine of the samples tested positive to yellow fever even as samples have been forwarded to the WHO laboratory in Dakar for confirmation.
He said that plans were underway to establish a reference laboratory in the country to reduce its continued dependence on the WHO laboratory in Dakar to know the number of confirmed cases.
“The country has been experiencing sporadic outbreaks of yellow fever since September 12, 2017 when the first case was confirmed in a 7-year-old child from Ifelodun LGA, Kwara State.
“Currently, there are over 1,640 suspected cases line listed with 41 confirmed from the WHO regional reference laboratory in Dakar Senegal.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria on its own part is committed to establishing a reference laboratory in the country to reduce the logistics challenges with sample transportation and laboratory turnaround time.
This will ultimately reduce the response time and consequently the morbidity and mortality rates. In the next six months, we will implement the new laboratory in Nigeria,” he said.
According to him, the ongoing third preventive mass vaccination campaign targeting the age group of 9 months to 44 years, in about five states, was part of the efforts put in place to ensure a reduction of yellow fever transmission by achieving a 90 percent coverage in implementing states and local government areas.