Lassa Fever in Togo: ALIMA sends a team to assess needs
According to the Togolese Ministry of Health, since February 25, at least seven cases have been confirmed and four deaths were reported. Dozens of contacts are currently being monitored.
“Our team, composed of an infectious disease researcher, a nurse and a biosafety expert, is ready to support health authorities in strengthening infection control and prevention measures in healthcare facilities,” explains Augustin Augier, secretary general of ALIMA, currently in Togo.
The organization is also supplying medical and logistical equipment necessary for patient isolation, medical care, sanitation and protection of national health teams.
Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic fever. The virus is transmitted to humans through contact with food or household items that have been contaminated with the urine or feces of infected rodents. Human-to-human transmission or within health facilities is also possible.
The disease is endemic in Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
“Our experience in managing outbreaks of hemorrhagic fevers has demonstrated the need to intervene very early and to combine the medical, epidemiological and scientific knowledge of this type of pathology,” Augustin Augier said.
ALIMA is a humanitarian medical organization created in 2009. It provides assistance to populations affected by crises such as epidemics, conflicts or natural disasters.
In 2016, the medical teams of ALIMA responded to various epidemics such as Ebola, Rift Valley fever and dengue fever in West Africa.
In Togo, the organization is collaborating on the exploration mission with the PACCI-INSERM 1219 team.
Photo by Sylvain Cherkaoui /Cosmos for ALIMA
Caption: A health worker in Guinea collects blood samples during the Ebola outbreak, to test for signs of hemorrhagic fever.