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Frequently Asked Questions: Federal Ministry of Information and Culture

Vision, Mission, Mandate and Activities

What does the vision, mission, mandate and activities of Federal Ministry of Information and Culture look like?

Vision – To enable a dynamic and participatory public information system that fosters and sustains the overall growth and development of the country and its people.

Mission – To provide the citizenry with credible and timely information on governmental activities, programmes and initiatives; while creating an enabling technological environment for socio-economic development of the nation.

Mandate – To lead the management of the image and reputation of the people and Government of Nigeria through a professional and dynamic public information system that facilitates access by citizens and the global community to credible and timely information about our nation.

Activities – The day-to-day information management activities of the Ministry are conducted through the professional Departments of the Ministry which in turn has established organs like the Resident Information Officers’ (RIO) posting to MDAs, the Federal Information and Zonal Information Resource Centres. These publicise government policies, programmes and development efforts and collates feedback as expressed by the people.

Structure and Management

What is the management structure of Federal Ministry of Information like?

Structure
The Minister – At the top of the management structure of the Ministry is the Honourable Minister, a political appointee of the President. He represents the Ministry at the Federal Executive Council level. The Minister is also the spokesman of the Federal Government.

The core civil service in the Ministry articulates policy positions on information management for the Honourable Minister’s approval. The Honourable Minister in turn takes the policy to the Federal Executive Council through a Council memo, Council note or Council reminder for debate, adoption and approval with the President in Council.

Thereafter, such policies become a national information management policy which guides the Minister and the Ministry on information management. Proposals from the private sector and other correspondences from other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of Government as well as those having to do with bilateral relations with the country are submitted to the Office of the Honourable Minister who will in turn direct further attention of the Permanent Secretary to the issues concerned.

The Minister’s Registry – receives all proposals, letters and others meant for the attention of the Minister, the input and collaboration of the Ministry. The Minister’s Registry is situated on the 8th Floor, Room 1 of Wing A, in Radio House, Garki, Abuja.

A minimal degree of online submission of correspondence with the Ministry is possible through [email protected]

The Permanent Secretary – The PSI heads the core of the civil servants in the Information Ministry.

The core civil service in the Ministry articulates policy positions on information management for the Honourable Minister’s approval through the Office of the Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Information.

The Permanent Secretary presides over the meetings of Directors and approves all measures which the Directors have articulated for the attention of the Minister.

Proposals from the private sector and other correspondences from other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of Government as well as those having to do with bilateral relations with the country which were submitted to the Office of the Honourable Minister will invariably be turned in for further attention of the Permanent Secretary.

The Permanent Secretary determines which relevant Department of the Ministry should give input to the issues under consideration in respect to any of the submitted proposals which are demanding for the attention of the Federal Ministry of Information.

Having determined that, the Permanent Secretary directs the proposal to the relevant Department.

Directors – The Directors head the Departmental structure of the Federal Ministry of Information.

Of the Departmental structure in the Ministry, there are the professional and the support services Departments, namely Public Communication, Research and Production, Public Relations and Protocols, National Archives, Information Technology, Federal Government Press, Human Resources Management, Finance and Administration and others. Under the Departmental structure of Federal Ministry of Information are the Divisions, Units and Sections which are smaller structures meant for smooth administrative conveniences of the Ministry. And to help administer the smaller administrative structure mentioned are the Deputy-Directors, Assistant Directors, Chief Information, Chief Archivists, Chief Administrative, Chief Accounting Officers and others down the level.

What does the day-to-day activity of Federal Ministry of Information entail?

ANSWER: On day-to-day, the core civil servant professionals of the Federal Ministry of Information are distributed to all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government as Resident Information Officers (RIOs), to all the Zones of the Federation of Nigeria as Zonal Information Resource Centres manning Officers and to all the States of the Federation as Federal Information Centres manning Officers to articulate developmental issues through reports, photographs, conduct of interviews, conduct of village-square meetings and interactions with the authorities and people at those level and as well publicise government developmental agenda to the authorities and people at those level. Reports, photographs, interviews, proceedings of village-square interactions of the Ministry of Information professionals are sent back to the Headquarter of the Ministry through the coordinating Department and incorporated into policy advisory of Federal Government to produce further information management or government policies and programmes.

Staffing, Staff Welfare, Training and Development

How does Federal Ministry of Information recruit its staff?

ANSWER: Most of the Graduate level Professionals of Federal Ministry of Information and indeed entry level staff from those holding the National Certificates of Education (NCE) came into the Ministry through the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC). When vacancies exist, they are declared by Federal Ministry of Information to the FCSC which in turn sets machinery in motion to recruit through advertisements, invitation of application from qualified candidates, interviews and issuance of employment letters and later documentation processes at the Human Resources Department of the Federal Ministry of Information Headquarters.

Federal Civil Service Commission usually applies the federal character principle to recruitment of employees for the Federal Ministry of Information. Prospective employees of Federal Ministry of Information are therefore advised to contact the Federal Civil Service Commission rather than Federal Ministry of Information on employment matters. However, to help prospective employees further, please click www.fcsc.gov.ng

What type of welfare is put in place for the staff of Federal Ministry of Information?

ANSWER: Conducive work environment – The Headquarters and almost all the offices and States’ offices of the Federal Ministry of Information provide work environment conducive for staff. Work furniture, tools and equipment are provided to enhance productivity of staff.

Staff buses – There are staff buses for the use of staff to and fro office. Members of Staff are picked up at designated bus stops in Abuja in the mornings, conveyed to the office and returned at the close of work.

Trainings – Employees of Federal Ministry of Information enjoy trainings to develop their professional skills.

The appropriate trainings are determined by the Training and Welfare Division which is under the Human Resources Management Department. Some of these trainings are outsourced whilst some are mounted in-house. There are also on-the-job trainings for staff.

However, the main training arm for the Information management professionals is anchored by the National Institute for Public Information (NIPI) which is situated at Kaduna.

It is the policy of Federal Ministry of Information to send staff recruited into its professional information management cadre to NIPI for acquaintance training with how information is professionally managed especially if such officer did not receive training in Journalism/Mass communication prior to joining the service.

Motivation – From time-to-time too, staff of Federal Ministry of Information are motivated minimally with some welfare issues depending on what the regulations of the Civil Service and the budget allows. This is over and above the normal remunerations of the staff.

Opportunities for Public-Private Sector Collaboration

Can a private sector organization, say a company propose to have Federal Ministry of Information sponsor in full or in part or collaborate with it on any issues of national interest?

  1. A private sector organization or company can propose to Federal Ministry of Information to collaborate with it or even part-sponsor or fully sponsor any programme, workshop, seminar which are of national interest. Such proposal has to be articulated with the terms of collaboration or sponsorship well spelt out and a contact or forwarding address to the proposing organization given, including e-mail addresses and phone contacts to enable quick response from the Ministry. Such proposals should be submitted through the Office of the Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Information, 8th Floor, Wing A, Radio House, Garki, Abuja. This has to be submitted through the Registry situated on the 8th Floor, Room 1 of Wing A, in Radio House, Garki, Abuja.

A minimal degree of online submission of correspondence with the Ministry is possible through our contact page.

Sporting, Staff Unionism, Staff-Management Interaction

What is management and staff interaction like in Federal Ministry of Information?

ANSWER: From time to time, the Honourable Minister and the Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Information meet with the staff at the National Press Centre which has a sizeable auditorium capacity for such meetings. They seize the opportunity to gauge the pulse of members of staff. Usually, this is a moderated forum which starts with briefings on policies and programmes as well as observations on goings-on in the polity and the Ministry.

Opportunities are then given to staff to engage the management to clarify some issues for staff. Issues of welfare, benefits, job performance, discipline and others feature at such meetings. A good record of such meetings is taken in form of notes and video recordings. Reports of some of these meetings are featured on Staff News section of the Ministry’s website – www.fmic.gov.ng

At other times, internal circulars are used to communicate directives to staff by the management. There is also the requirement that Directors should hold Departmental meetings with their staff and minutes taken are availed the Permanent Secretary.

Are members of staff of Federal Ministry of Information unionised?

ANSWER: Members of staff of Federal Ministry of Information belong to Workers’ Unions. Such include the Nigeria Union Journalists, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, Association of Stenographers and Secretaries of Nigeria, and others which are affiliates of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

Members of Staff conduct regular elections and congresses into the Executive body of these workers Unions and Associations. Check off dues for the Unions are made from staff remunerations based on voluntary agreement of individual staff.

Is it all work and no play for members of staff of Federal Ministry of Information?

ANSWER: Members of staff of Federal Ministry of Information engage in the monthly walk and jog exercise conducted by the Committee for Sports of Public Service Games domiciled in the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation. Members of staff also join the local chapter of the Sports Club.

They engage in several sports which include football, Basket ball, Badminton, Table tennis, Lawn tennis and others. They do this in the belief in the need for a sound mind in a sound body philosophy for sports and exercises. The Ministry sends contingents to the annual Federal Public Service Games (FEPSGA).

How does Federal Ministry of Information carry out its publicity of Government policies, programmes and activities?

ANSWER:

  • The professional Departments of the Ministry which also have Divisions and field offices are responsible for direct public information and feedback management on day-to-day basis.
  • The Field operators of information management include the Resident Information Officers (RIOs) who are posted to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of Federal Government, the Officers of the Federal Information Resource Centres (FIRs) who man the States Offices of the Federal Ministry of Information which are usually located at the Federal Secretariats at the States, Officers of the Zonal Information Resource Centres (ZIRCs) who man the Offices of the Federal Ministry of Information at the 6 Geo-political Zones of the Federation. The FIRCs and the ZIRCs are of late equipped with modern cyber centres to enable efficient processing of information and feedback.
  • Others include the Officers of the Ministry who are posted to man the Information Centres abroad. They are usually attached to the Foreign Missions of Nigeria in other countries abroad. However, most times, budgetary constraints prevent the Information Centres abroad to function to full time as deployed officers are recalled before the expiration of their term of 4 years.
  • After the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) Meetings, the Honourable minister with the assistance of Officials of the Ministry who are posted on State House Correspondence responsibilities articulate the high points of the FEC meetings to brief the media.
  • The Ministry also churns out ad-hoc and regular publications in forms of magazines, booklets and journals. There have been Nigeria Today, Nigeria Monthly, Trade Journal, Tenders Journal, and also others like Diaries, Calendars through milestones and information about the policies, programmes and projects of the Federal Government of Nigeria are disseminated.
  • The Ministry engages in online publishing. It publishes websites – the Ministry’s website – www.fmic.gov.ng, it published and is in the process of re-activating the Nigeria national web portal – a national information gateway – www.nigeria.gov.ng and engages its citizens most especially the youths and the Diaspora through the social media – Face Book (FB), Twitter, You Tube, Blogging and others.
  • The Ministry holds regular seminars, workshops and trainings to beef up staff and stake holders’ capacity on national information management and other national policies and programmes.

What are the organs through which Federal Ministry of Information carry out its activities?

ANSWER: The Ministry established about 4 organs namely the Resident Information Officers (RIO), the Field Officers at the Zonal Information Resource Centres (ZIRCs) and the Federal Information Resource Centres (FIRCs), the External Publicity organ – Information Centres abroad at the Nigeria High Commissions in foreign countries.

These are placed under coordinating Departments at Ministry’s Headqautres. It is through these Officials/Offices that the Ministry mainly carry out its duties of public information and feedback management. To articulate policies on which these Field Officers work, the Ministry holds the National Council on Information meetings regularly.

The regular National Council on Information Meetings has entered its 43rd meeting as at the last one held in December, 2012.

At the National Council Meeting, all Commissioners of Information at States level meet under the auspices of Federal Ministry of Information officials and management. The meeting is presided over by the Honourable Minister of Information or in his absence, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry. Policies are introduced and canvassed for adoption through National Council Memoranda.

The merits and demerits are considered along with the prayers by those canvassing the policy options. Probably with some amendments, the policies are adopted as a common basis for information management in the federation.

Which innovation is the Ministry introducing to the management of public information lately?

ANSWER:

  1. The Ministry has lately embarked on online publishing. This necessitated the establishment of an Information Technology Department which grew from a Unit in 2002. The works of the Department and the need to modernize public information management along best practices also necessitate an aggressive recruitment of Information Technology and Computer Science graduates. Other staff especially the professional Information Officers were massively trained and re-trained to be proficient in the use of ICT. ICT tools – Personal Computers (PCs), network and stand alone printers, scanners, cameras and others were massively procured for use at the headquarters and the field offices of the Ministry.
  2. Publishing website – www.fmic.gov.ng, communicating through new media – Face Book –www.facebook.com/FMINigeria, Twitter – www.twitter.com/FMINigeria, You Tube etc.

What type of reports can one hope to read from the different publications and publicity efforts of Federal Ministry of Information?

ANSWER: Latest news, Features, Press releases, Federal Executive Council Resolutions, Federal Information Centres’ reports, publications such as the monthly Tenders Journal which advertises all Government contracts and tenders, ad-hoc publications like the “Transformation Agenda”, “Federal Ministry of Education 4 year Strategic Plan for the Development of the Education Sector”, “Achievements of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development since the inception of Agricultural Transformation Agenda of the Administration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan”, “Words on marble, President Goodluck Jonathan, GCFR, GCON”, Presidential Address on the Implementation of the Deregulation Policy in the Downstream Sector of the Petroleum Industry, Sunday, January 15, 2012”,

“Deregulation of Downstream Oil Sector: The Myths, the Facts by Ministry of Petroleum Resources”, “The Bitter Truth about Fuel Subsidy: Who Does it Benefit? By Ministry of Petroleum Resources” and many more. [Please see more on media-center/downloads].

What are the Agencies under Federal Ministry of Information?

ANSWER: Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Voice of Nigeria (VON), Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Nigeria Film Corporation (NFC), Nigeria Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB). See Parastatals.

How does Federal Ministry of Information handle campaigns involved in publicising national or Federal Government’s programmes, events or projects like general election?

ANSWER:

  1. The Minister presides over a multi-agency and Departmental meeting with the Permanent Secretary to draw up a campaign communication strategy and plan.
  2. A campaign communication strategy and plan which involve all the organs and agencies under Federal Ministry of Information is put together by an appointed Committee. The communication strategy usually involves multi-media mix.
  3. The Communication strategy would spell out the Communication channels – Traditional/Non-Traditional channels of Audio-Visual, Audio, Posters, Handbills, Stakeholders/Village-square meetings, Door-to-door reach outs/Town, Social Media, Internet/Websites, etc;
  4. The Communication strategy would also spell out the Communication message which will involve Mass mobilization, Mass education, Mass participation, Interviews/Talking points, Media/Press briefs, Facts File, most of which are carefully and professional crafted to ensure clarity, currency and cultural sensitivity and biases.
  5. Each of the segments of the total campaign is also determined with timelines for the segments.
  6. Costs involved in prosecuting the campaign plan deliverables and timelines are carefully put together.
  7. The benefits of each segment and deliverables are also determined. Thereafter, the Minister who has been advised by this collective endeavour by the Permanent Secretary aided by the Director, Finance and Administration will proceed with the campaign plan to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) with a Council note regarding the campaign plan to seek the approval of the President in Council.
  8. With the Presidential and FEC approval obtained; the Minister returns to the Ministry to preside over a meeting of the Agencies, Departments and organs of the Ministry on how best to implement the approved plan. The Permanent Secretary, Directors of the Ministry and Heads of the Agencies under the Ministry are required to be present at this crucial meeting. The Campaign strategy is properly articulated, timelines properly rehearsed and budget for the campaign and procurement are carried out jointly. Proper records of the proceedings of the meetings for the campaign strategy are kept for accountability purposes.
  9. Implementation of the campaign strategy begins in earnest.
  10. Monitoring and evaluation yardstick for each of the segments, the timelines and the deliverables are also marshaled so that feedback becomes possible.
  11. Review meetings are held by the same group of persons which started the campaign implementation. These review meetings generate reports and re-strategising when this becomes necessary.
  12. Reports are compiled for each of the segments, the timelines and the deliverables for the Permanent Secretary and the Minister’s consideration. Such reports invariable get to the President through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and is also used to brief the nation and the media which may include the international media as well.

How can Federal Ministry of Information be contacted from outside Abuja, Nigeria?

ANSWER: You can reach FMIC through our contact page.

Can Federal Ministry of Information help with information on how to reach other Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government of Nigeria?

ANSWER:
Yes, Federal Ministry of Information has its professional cadre officers posted as Resident Information Officers to all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of Federal Government of Nigeria as Resident Information Officers. Even though it is very difficult for the Ministry to keep working phone contacts and e-mails of all the MDAs, we can refer your enquiries to any of the Ministry’s RIOs in any of the MDAs to take such up on your behalf with their MDAs of posting. We keep records of all RIOs on posting to all the MDAs and they can help to trash out any issue you may want to take up with any of the MDAs.

  1. You may also wish to reach any of the MDAs through the link for “OTHER MINISTRIES” of the Home Page of Federal Ministry of Information Website. You may thereafter go to the “Contact us” Section of the Website of the MDA in question to register your issue.

Is it possible for Federal Ministry of Information to avail me a copy of the Freedom of Information Act online?

ANSWER: Yes, check the “Downloads” section of FMIC Website.

Can I send in some features or poems and other materials which I can hope to get published through the Federal Ministry of Information Website?

ANSWER: Yes, you can but we are not giving full assurance that such will be published except if such materials conform to the editorial philosophy of the Ministry and the Ministry’s website.

Please do you have statistics on mineral resources production in Nigeria?

ANSWER: FMIC does not have such statistics as we are not the Ministry primarily responsible for keeping such records. However, we are going to refer your enquiry to the Resident Information Officer in the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (MSMD) to take it up. You can also access the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development’s website through the Home page of FMIC website. Go to “OTHER MINISTRIES” and search out Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, then contact that Ministry with your enquiry. Meanwhile, be rest assured that we are doing something about your enquiry and we will reach back to you as soon as possible.

Please can you send me information on the budget for Bauchi State?

ANSWER: Ours is Federal Ministry of Information and not the Ministry of Information for any particular State of the Federation. Such information like you are seeking can be got through Search Engines like Google, Yahoo search, aol search etc. This type of data can also be kept if this has been a Web Portal – a National Information Gateway. But, this is not.

Federal Ministry of Information publishes the Federal Tenders Journal monthly, how can I place my advert in the journal and how can I get a copy regularly?

ANSWER:
To place adverts in the Federal Tenders Journal, you need to come over to the Officers coordinating the journal at the Research and Production Department on 4th Floor, Wing B, Room 1 to the left and last room to the right on same floor, Radio House, Garki Abuja.

To get regular copy, you can subscribe or ask from your newspaper vendors.

For further inquiry, Please contact FMIC on 081 641 41606

Frequently Asked Questions: Ebola Virus

What is Ebola Virus Disease?

Ebola Virus Disease is a highly infectious and deadly disease affecting humans and animals such as monkeys, gorillas, Chimpanzees, bats, birds, reptiles, amphibians, arthropods. The disease is caused by Ebola virus and it occurs in sporadic outbreak.

Where is Ebola Virus Disease found?

Though the natural habitat of the Ebola virus is unknown, Ebola virus is normally found in an animal host that is native to the African continent.

Where do cases of Ebola Virus Disease occur?

Outbreaks of Ebola VD have been mainly restricted to Africa. Confirmed cases of Ebola VD have been reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Sudan, the Ivory Coast, Uganda and the Republic of the Congo. Ebola VD is usually spread within a health care setting. However, sporadic isolated cases may occur unnoticed.

How is Ebola Virus Disease spread?

The manner in which the Ebola virus first appears in a human at the start of an outbreak has not been determined. However, Ebola VD could be spread through the following:

  • Direct contact with an infected animal or human;
  • Direct contact with the blood and or secretions of an infected person especially within families;
  • Contact with contaminated medical equipment such as needles;
  • Reuse of unsterilized needles in hospital;
  • Eating or handling of the carcass of infected animals;
  • Inhalation of contaminated air in hospital environment;
  • Use of infected non human primate/bats as food source;
  • Non implementation of universal precautions.

What are the symptoms of Ebola Virus Disease?

The incubation period for Ebola VD ranges from 2 to 21 days. The signs and symptoms of Ebola VD include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Stomach pain
  • Cold
  • Cough
  • Joint and muscles pain
  • Sore throat
  • Weakness
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Red eyes
  • Internal and external bleeding.

Who is at risk?

  • People exposed to and handling wild animals;
  • People depending on wild animals such as bats as a food source;
  • Mortuary attendants;
  • Health workers caring for Ebola VD patients;
  • Health workers in hospital settings with poor basic hygiene and sanitation practices;
  • Family members of an infected patient;
  • People that go to hospitals with poor hygiene and sanitation practices;

How can one prevent himself of herself from contacting Ebola Virus Disease?

a) Avoid contact with the blood/secretions of Ebola infected animals and humans or dead bodies by:

  • Maintaining good hygiene and sanitation practices in hospitals;
  • Noting that there is currently no immunization to prevent the disease;
  • Avoiding the eating of animals such as monkeys, gorillas, Chimpanzees, bats, birds, reptiles, amphibians, arthropods;
  • If you must eat animals such as monkeys, gorillas, Chimpanzees, bats, birds, reptiles, amphibians, arthropods, please cook them very well;
  • Isolate Ebola infected patients;
  • Disposing of dead bodies of Ebola patients properly in a safe manner;
  • Avoiding local traditional burial rituals such as embalming for Ebola patients;

b) Health workers and visitors caring for Ebola patients should:

  • Wear proper personal protective equipment such as disposable face mask. Gloves, goggles,
  • and gown always;
  • Use disposable needles;
  • Avoid reuse of needles or use of inadequately sterilized needles;
  • Avoid embalming of a deceased Ebola patient;

Who could be contacted in case further information is needed on this issue of Ebola virus?

Please contact:

Produced by Federal Ministry of Health, Health Promotion Division in collaboration with Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, Abuja.

Frequently Asked Questions: Lassa Fever

What is Lassa fever?

It is a dangerous disease that affects the blood, liver and other parts of the human body. The disease occurs more often in the dry season.

Where is it found?

It was discovered first in a village called Lassa in Borno State, Nigeria in 1969. However, it has been found in other places, especially in West Africa e.g. Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

What are the causes of the Lassa fever disease?

It is caused by a virus that is carried by an infected rat with many breasts (Multimammate).

How is Lassa fever spread?

It could be spread by:

  • Eating food or drinking water contaminated with infected rat urine or feaces
  • Eating of an infected rat
  • Touching of floors, beddings, households materials contaminated with infected rat urine or feaces
  • Inhalation of air contaminated with tiny particles of infected rat faeces/urine
  • Person-to-person direct contact with blood, urine, tissue, saliva, throat secretion or semen of infected human through cuts or sores

Who can be infected?

  • Both men and women of all age groups who are exposed to infected rat feaces/urine.
  • Those who live in areas with a high population of rats with many breasts (Multimammate)
  • People living in dirty environment (poor sanitation);
  • Travelers who stay for an extended amount of time in an area where the infection is common;
  • Health workers and those who are taking care of infected persons.

What is the incubation period of this disease?

Signs and symptoms of the fever generally appear 1-3 weeks after contact with the virus.

What are the signs and symptoms?

The disease usually starts with fever, general weakness and malaise. Other signs and symptoms are:

  • Fever.
  • Pain behind the chest wall
  • Sore throat.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Red eye (conjunctivitis).
  • Back pain.
  • Swelling of the face, eye, neck.
  • Mucosal bleeding (nose, mouth, lungs, and digestive tract).
  • Cough.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Vomiting.
  • Restlessness
  • Tremors
  • Rashes.

What are the common complications of Lassa fever?

These include:

  • Deafness
  • Spontaneous abortion
  • Hearing loss.
  • Infection/inflammation of the brain (Encephalitis).
  • Swelling of Face and Neck
  • Weight loss
  • Encephalopathy
  • Bleeding from the ear, mouth, nose, etc (Haemorrhage)
  • Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension)
  • Pleural Effusion
  • Seizures

Immediately you notice any of these signs and symptoms mentioned above, go to the nearest health facility for medical attention.

How can Lassa fever be prevented?

  • You could prevent the spread of Lassa fever by:
  • Not spreading of foods along the road;
  • Keeping your house and surroundings clean ,by;
  • Blocking all holes around your house
  • Clearing all bushes
  • Disposing refuse in covered dustbin
  • Discarding all foods partly eaten by rat
  • Keeping all animal food in sealed, metal containers
  • Keeping food in tightly sealed containers
  • Covering all food and water properly
  • Setting few traps in and around the house to reduce rat populations;
  • Isolating infected patients from contact with unprotected persons until the disease has run its course;
  • Wearing protective clothing, such as Masks, gloves, gowns, and goggles when caring for patients with Lassa fever;
  • Avoiding contact with Lassa fever patient secretions.
  • If you have a bad infestation and they are in the walls, leave a few exit points so they can get out and don’t die inside the house. After they’re all gone, seal up the holes.

Who could be contacted or further information on this issue of Lassa fever?

Please contact:

Frequently Asked Questions: Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers

For Health Workers in Nigeria (for Ebola, Dengue and Lassa)

Facts sheet on Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers for Health Workers in Nigeria Ebola, Dengue and Lassa

  1. What are viral hemorrhagic fevers?

Viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) refer to a group of illnesses that are caused by several distinct families of viruses. In general, the term “viral hemorrhagic fever” is used to describe a severe multisystem syndrome. Characteristically, the overall vascular system is damaged, and the body’s ability to regulate itself is impaired.

  1. What are the symptoms?

Specific signs and symptoms vary by the type of VHF, but initial signs and symptoms often include marked fever, fatigue, dizziness, muscle aches, loss of strength, and exhaustion. Patients with severe cases of VHF often show signs of bleeding under the skin, in internal organs, or from body orifices like the mouth, eyes, or ears. However, although they may bleed from many sites around the body, patients rarely die because of blood loss. Severely ill patient cases may also show shock, nervous system malfunction, coma, delirium, and seizures. Some types of VHF are associated with renal (kidney) failure. These symptoms are often accompanied by haemorrhage (bleeding).While some types of hemorrhagic fever viruses can cause relatively mild illnesses, many of these viruses cause severe, life-threatening disease.

Case Definitions

Ebola fever:

Suspected case – sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding.

Lassa fever:

Suspected case– onset of Fever, with or without sore throat and at least one of the following signs: bloody diarrhoea, bleeding from gums, bleeding into skin (purpura), bleeding into eyes and urine.

Dengue fever:

Suspected case– onset of high fever accompanied by two of the following symptoms: severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains, nausea, vomiting, swollen glands or rash

Confirmed cases for Ebola, Lassa and Dengue fever: All suspected cases with

positive IgM antibody or viral isolation or epidemiological linked to confirm cases

How are they transmitted?

  • Contact with urine, faecal matter, saliva or other body excretions from infected rodents.-Lassa
  • Contact with the bodies of dead infected animals-Ebola
  • Being bitten by infected mosquitoes or ticks-Dengue
  • Contact with animals that have been bitten by infected mosquitoes or ticks-Ebola
  • Close contact with infected people or their body fluids.-Lassa, Ebola,
  • People can also be infected by touching objects such as syringes and needles that have been contaminated with infected body fluids.-Lassa, Ebola

Where does VHF naturally occur? Hemorrhagic fever viruses are found around the world. VHF viruses need an animal or insect host to survive; hence they are rare outside of the areas where the host for the specific virus lives. Rats and mice often carry VHF viruses as well as mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti). Occasionally, an infected traveller may carry a hemorrhagic fever virus from an area where the virus occurs naturally. If the virus is a type that can be transmitted by person-to-person contact, the traveller can infect other people. How can VHF be prevented? Prevention efforts must concentrate on avoiding contact with host species (rats for Lassa fever), vectors (Aedes aegypti for Dengue) and preventing further transmission from person to person. In hospital setting,

  • Avoid close physical contact with infected people and their body fluids
  • Barrier nursing or infection control techniques include isolating infected individuals and wearing protective clothing. Other infection control recommendations include
  • Proper disinfection of instruments and equipment used in treating or caring for patients with VHF
  • Proper disposal of medical wastes and tissues from infected patients

How can VHF case be treated? There is no specific drug for treatment of VHF—patients receive supportive care. Patients infected with Lassa fever virus may respond to the antiviral drug ribavirin, if treated early in the course of infection.

References
http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/index.html
http://www.achd.net/factsheet/hemorr.htm http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/spb/mnpages/dispages/Fact_Sheets/Viral_Hemorrhagic_Fevers_Fact_Sheet.pdf