“These kits will allow medical personnel to protect themselves from an infected patient, in order to provide safe and appropriate medical care,” said Mélanie Tarabbo, medical coordinator for ALIMA.
This donation followed an assessment carried out in several health structures in the Savannah region of northern Togo.
“The evaluation revealed that there was a need for materials, infrastructure and human resources,” Melanie Tarabbo said. “It would also be beneficial to train local medical staff on personal protective measures and on infection control measures in medical facilities, in order to break the chain of transmission of the virus.”
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 Mastomys rats. Human-to-human transmission, via contact with bodily fluids of a sick person, is also possible. This puts health workers at a greater risk of contracting the disease, which, if not diagnosed and treated prompted, can be deadly.
In Togo, as of April 21, 9 cases have been confirmed, including 6 deaths.
In order to reduce the spread of cases of Lassa fever and avoid an epidemic, the Ministry of Health has strengthened public awareness campaigns.
ALIMA continues to support the efforts of the Ministry of Health and maintains close contact with health authorities, in order to offer clinical assistance to improve detection of suspected cases.
More generally, given the evolution of the virus, including the spread to new areas, severity of strains, and the increasing number of cases over time in West Africa, and the lack of diagnostic and therapeutic resources, ALIMA remains mobilized to participate in emergency responses, and operational and clinical research projects.
ALIMA is a medical humanitarian organization created in 2009. It provides assistance to populations affected by crises, such as epidemics, conflicts or natural disasters.
In 2016, medical teams from ALIMA responded to various epidemics, including Ebola, Rift Valley fever and dengue fever, in West Africa.
Photo : N’zérékoré, Guinea, 2014 – © Sylvain Cherkaoui