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Lassa fever: Ondo Govt urges joint action

Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State
By Olusola Oke
The Ondo State Government has appealed to major stakeholders in the state to support government in addressing the scourge of Lassa fever.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahaab Adegbenro, made the appeal at a meeting on Friday in Owo, Owo Local Government Area of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state government on Jan. 22 announced that it recorded 24 confirmed cases of Lassa fever in different parts of the state with one death.
Adegbenro said that stakeholders must see the fight against Lassa fever as a security issue that threatens the existence of the people in the state.
The commissioner said it was time to treat the issue of Lassa fever corporately as no one could tell who could be the next victim.
He said that the state would soon commence operation specifically to take care of Lassa fever patients at the Infectious Diseases Centre in Akure, the state capital.
“The government is on top of the situation and will soon see the end of Lassa fever in the state if stakeholders cooperate and lend a helping hand in the fight,” he said.
The commissioner at the end of the meeting visited the centre for the treatment of Lassa fever patients at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, to assess the situation on ground.
Similarly, the State Coordinator of Primary Health Care, Dr Isaac Olawanle, gave a lecture on Lassa fever, its symptoms, the dos and don’ts.
Olawanle harped on constant hand washing, personal and environmental sanitation, abstinence from unnecessary contact with the sick as man to man transmission was now higher than the one transmitted by rodents.
Mr Samuel Obanla, Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), asked the commissioner to issue circular to churches and mosques on the need to get clearance before conducting any burial.
Obanla said this would enable the health officers to monitor people so as not to run foul of the law.
He also called for the general cleaning and sanitisation of Owo markets to safeguard the health of the people.
Similarly, Alhaji Ahmed Aladesawe, the Chief Imam, League of Imams for the South-West, urged people to join government effort at stopping the spread of the disease by ensuring that their environment was adequately sansitised.
Mr Nsan Ejijor, the District Police Officer (DPO) of Owo and Dr Samuel Oyegoke, the state Chairman, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, both advocated that Lassa fever campaign should be taken to schools.

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