A Nigeria doctor, Dr. Dzuana Vanen Philip who was working as a house officer at the Federal Medical Center, Makurdi has died on the 1st of April, as a result of Lassa Fever Complications.
Over 150 Nigerians have passed on during the latest 2020 Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria alone, with almost a thousand confirmed cases, since January, the highest ever in a single year.
Dr. Dzuana Vanen Philip from Mount St. Gabriel’s Secondary School in Makurdi in 2004. He sat for UTME for about 5 times in his quest to become a doctor, applying for medicine and surgery at UNIJOS, ABU and Maiduguri, rejecting different offers of admission during the process.
Dr. Philip was admitted to study medicine in 2009 at the Benue State University, Makurdi and graduated in 2019 (after 10years of medical school) due to issues of accreditation at BSU. He was inducted into the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN in the middle of 2019 and started housemanship at FMC Mkd, where he worked for the last 8 months until March.
With just 4 months away from the end of his compulsory housemanship programme, He took ill and showed symptoms in line with Lassa fever. His samples were taken for test and was later confirmed to have contacted Lassa Fever. He was initially managed at BSUTH but was later transferred to Irrua Specialist Hospital for expert management. At ISTH, he underwent two sessions of dialysis as a result of renal failure.
Dr, Philip died on Wednesday 1st April 2020, after a week of battling Lassa Fever. Sadly he will not be buried at his ancestral home. He will be cremated in line with the National guideline for management of Lassa Fever patients.
The big Question is: With the recurrent Lassa Fever Epidemic in Nigeria, and the availability of management options for Lassa Fever, Why does any Nigerian have to die of Lassa Fever, after being diagnosed early of the disease?
In a statement by the President, National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Dr. Aliyu Sokomba, Dr. Phillip is the sixth doctor to have died of Lassa fever since the 2020 outbreak.