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To mark the 50th year of the discovery of Lassa fever in Nigeria, the Federal Government says it will organise the first international conference on the disease for scientists to prioritise their research agenda for the future.

The conference on deadly diseases being organised by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), will seek to provide an opportunity for the scientific community to reflect on what is known, describe gaps that exist and prioritise research agenda for the future.

The Technical Assistant on Communications, NCDC, Jeremiah Agenyi, on Monday in Lagos said that the conference on Lassa fever would hold in Abuja from Jan. 16 to Jan. 17, 2019.

“Fifty years after the detection of the first Lassa fever case in Nigeria, outbreaks have been recorded yearly in parts of the country.

“The disease is also endemic in other West African countries, including Republic of Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali and Sierra Leone.

“In 2018, Nigeria experienced the largest reported outbreak of Lassa fever. Of the 36 states in the country, 21 were affected,’’ Agenyi said in a statement.

“Against this background, NCDC and partners will host the first international conference on Lassa fever in Abuja, Nigeria on Jan. 16 and 17 2019.

“The 50th year of discovery of the Lassa fever virus will provide an opportunity for the scientific community to reflect on what is known, describe gaps that exist and prioritise the research agenda for the future.

“Registration and abstract submission are now open to the public on the conference website www.lic.ncdc.gov.ng.

“The NCDC uses this opportunity to invite epidemiologists, laboratory scientists, researchers, veterinary doctors and officers, anthropologists, media officers, other professionals and members of the public in Nigeria and globally.

“And those with an interest in Lassa fever to register and be part of this milestone scientific event,’’ he said.

He added: “Nigeria is on track to lead the research and development of Lassa fever public health solutions.

“This conference is one of the preliminary steps towards this, in order to protect the health of Nigerians and contribute to global health security.’’

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