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Lassa Fever: Adegbenro tasks residents on hygiene

Lassa Fever: Adegbenro tasks residents on hygiene-

By Kemi Olatunde
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Ondo state Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro has called on residents of the state to maintain personal and environmental hygiene in order to curb the spread of Lassa Fever in the state .

Adegbenro made the call while speaking with The Hope in Akure, on government’s effort at curbing the outbreak of the disease in the state.

According to him, five local governments had so far been affected by Lassa Fever and government is creating more awareness to educate residents on the prevention of the contagious disease.

Adegbenro who attributed the rapid spread of Lassa Fever to poor hygienic lifestyle of people, tasked the people of the state on personal hygiene .

While urging people of Ondo State to maintain a clean and healthy environment, the Commissioner said Lassa Fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness, transmitted to humans through contact with food or household items contaminated by infected rodents.

He said healthcare providers have been advised to practise standard precautions at all times and to maintain a high index of suspicion.

Lassa Fever, also known as Lassa hemorrhagic fever is a type of viral fever caused by Lassa virus which spread to people via contact with the urine or faeces of an infected multimammate rat.

Few months back, no fewer than 116 people were tested positive to Lassa Fever in addition to 21 deaths recorded between January and March this year in Ondo state.

Statistics by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) from January this year revealed that a total of 1249 suspected cases were reported from 21 states as 381 people were confirmed positive, 83 deaths, 15 probable and 858 negative.

Ondo State Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Wale Oke had disclosed that there are 102 cases of Lassa fever with 15 deaths confirmed in the state.

He made the disclosure while speaking with The Hope in Akure.

According to him, the state government has put in place measures to curtail the fever adding that government has declared state of emergency on health.

His words; “As we all know, there are three treatment centres in Nigeria; Abakaliki, Irua and Federal Medical Centre, Owo. In Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owo, we have 106 confirmed positive cases and out of this, 15 deaths had been recorded but in all, the success rate of FMC Owo is still the best in the country. We give kudos to the management team on this.

“In January, there was a serious overwhelming figure, we had 82 positive but so far in February, we have 20 positive. I think it is now under control.”

Speaking further, he explained that Ondo NMA, alongside Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and others have engaged in sensitisation exercise for the people of the state especially in areas where Lassa has not been recorded.

He explained that the exercise is aimed at preventing further cases in the state.

According to him; “Since the outbreak of Lassa Fever, we have been moving round all the health facilities to sensitise our people on the need to maintain universal caution and also to be vigilant about Lassa fever.

“So far, we have been to almost all the local governments in the state. We rounded off with Akoko yesterday.

“NMA is concerned with the prevention and control of the so many pillars involved in the management of Lassa Fever, hence the basis for the sensitisation.”

However, he listed Owo, Ose, Akoko North, Akure South and Akure North as the local governments with the recorded cases

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