Health workers in western Niger are bracing-up to contain an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever that has killed at least 21 people over the past month.
An NGO- the Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA) and Niger’s health authorities have opened an emergency treatment centre in the region’s hardest-hit district.
“We have set up mobile clinics, comprising of performers and nurses who have gone around in different villages to raise awareness on prevention and contamination,” said a medical co-ordinator for ALIMA, Dr Gilles Koupo.
We have set up mobile clinics, comprising of performers and nurses who have gone around in different villages to raise awareness on prevention and contamination.
With no specific treatment or effective human vaccine, Rift Valley fever can cause blindness and severe loss of strength.
A patient Mahamoudou Mahama said “I came to the clinic because I was bleeding. I first went to a local clinic, and they gave me medication and referred me to this clinic. I was treated, and the bleeding stopped,”.
Authorities have also intensified their awareness campaign for this target groups, especially during this time of the year.
“We took advantage of this festival, which also brings together pastoralists, to sensitise and raise awareness on the prevention of this disease, as well as teaching people to avoid,” Health official, Dr Ag Ahmed said.
Nigerien authorities say ALIMA, and local medical teams will continue to locate infected people to provide emergency care due to the disease’s high mortality rate of around 50 percent with deaths occurring between three or six days following the onset of symptoms.