A medical expert, Dr Tunji Akintade, has appealed to governments to ensure vaccination of the citizens against yellow fever to save their lives.
Akintade, a former Chairman, Lagos State Chapter of the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria, made the appeal in an interview with our reporter on Friday in Lagos.
It was reported that yellow fever is a serious, potentially deadly flu-like disease spread by mosquitoes.
It is characterised by high fever and jaundice.
Jaundice is yellowing of the skin and eyes, which is why the disease is called yellow fever.
The disease is most prevalent in some parts of Africa and South America.
Symptoms of yellow fever also include headaches, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.
According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control’s Situation Report of Nov. 11, there were 222 suspected cases of yellow fever, 19 confirmed cases and 76 deaths from Delta, Enugu and Bauchi states.
The report said that the cases were recorded from Nov. 1 to Nov.11, adding that most of the cases were males aged from one year to 55 years.
The agency blamed yellow fever outbreaks on lack of vaccination.
Akintade, also the Medical Director of Hamaab Medical centre, Lagos, told NAN that many Nigerians might be susceptible to the disease since they were vaccinated against it when they were under two years of age.
“Governments should be proactive to prevent the outbreak from becoming an epidemic.
“Fortunately, it is not like COVID-19 that doesn’t have a vaccine; so, we need to start vaccinating the citizens.
“States shouldn’t wait till they have yellow fever in their domains before they start taking proactive steps to protect their citizens,” he said.
Akintade said that a large number of people could not be vaccinated in primary health centres alone, urging governments to partner with the private sector to have designated private hospitals for the vaccination.
“We expect that the vaccine will be provided free by governments.
“Most adults do not get vaccinated except they are travelling overseas, while some travellers do not even bother about the vaccination; they just parade fake yellow fever cards,” he said.
According to him, government partnership with the private sector might necessitate training on effective record keeping.
According to him, the record would indicate the total number of people vaccinated and other information.
“Those who have been vaccinated and have evidence do not need to replicate it so far it was done within 10 years,” he said.
He advised members of the public to protect themselves from mosquito bites through the use of insect repellents and wearing of protective clothing.
Akintade advised that efforts should also be made to destroy breeding grounds for mosquitoes by eliminating stagnant water and shrubs.