The Nasarawa State government says it has concluded arrangements to commence an upward review of hazard allowance for doctors in the state.
Daily Trust had, last week, reported that Dr Ahmed Igah-Isaiah who was working with the General Hospital, Garaku, Kokona LGA of the state died of Lassa fever as a result of hazard-related issues.
Dr Ibrahim Adamu-Alhassan, Director Public Health, Nasarawa state Ministry of Health revealed this in an interview with our correspondent in Lafia, the state capital.
He was reacting to the death of the medical doctor who contracted the disease while attending to a pregnant woman who was bleeding and required surgery.
“Upward review of hazard allowance has been implemented only at the federal level, states are now adopting the upward review payment. The allowance has not been implemented in the state and I can tell you that with just only last week, we concluded all arrangements to implement the payment.
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“All doctors have been paid hazard allowance consistently. It’s part of our salary structure because first when an issue comes you need to document it.
“You need to also estimate the cost implication and then share with the hierarchy of the pool and then it’s only the federal government that has started, a lot of states have not.
“Nasarawa State being proactive has actually calculated the financial implications of what will cost government for the addition for the upward review, and it has been submitted to the Secretary of Nasarawa State Government (SSG), and being a people-oriented government, we have no doubt that this will happen very soon,” he said.
He said the state is a Lassa fever endemic state.
“So annually we have cases of Lassa fever like this, but unlike in the past when we can have 10, 15, 20 cases. You know we’ve been having reduction in the cases of Lassa fever. In 2021, we recorded only two cases and in 2022 only one case.
“So we are consistently reducing the number of cases because of the consistent awareness and preventive measures we have taken and also the sensitization of healthcare providers so that they can have a high index of suspicion when a patient is taken to them,” he said.
On the measures taken by the state government, he said: “We are continuing our community awareness and sensitization on Lassa fever, especially on the preventive measures and what people need to do to be able to protect themselves from getting it.
“At this time, farmers are burning their bushes, they are driving all these domestic rats which carry the Lassa fever virus from the farms to the homes.”
He, however, urged people across the state to always cover all foods such as garri, bread, dried fish and soups to protect them from contamination by rats.
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