Friday, January 22, 2010

Nigeria to Receive 2009 H1N1 Vaccine

January 21 2009-- Nigerian Minister of Health, Babatunde Osotimehin, said negotiations between government and the World Health Organization on securing shipments of 2009 H1N1 vaccine had reached advanced stage.

This news comes after the death of a 38-year-old woman in Lagos from the virus and reports that eight others subsequently tested positive. The Minister noted that before now, Nigeria was not considered a high endemic country, hence the decision by WHO to concentrate the vaccine in countries where the disease was more pronounced.

He also said deaths recorded so far were not a result of the absence of a curative drug, but rather as a result of late diagnoses.

The minister, urged Nigerians to adopt precautionary measures, notably frequent hand washing, use of clean water and soap, keeping hands away from the face while sneezing or coughing as the disease gains access to the body through the eyes and nose, seeking medical attention on noticing cough, catarrh and high fever, among others.

He said the curative drug [Tamiflu] was already available throughout the country and stated that the committee set up to tackle the situation, the National Epidemic Preparedness and Response Committee was already on top of the situation even as he maintained that the government would intensify its campaign on precautionary measures.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government has expressed its preparedness to control the spread of the disease.


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