A total of 102 suspected cases of Lassa fever have been reported in eight local government areas of Ondo state. Out of which 36 of the 79 cases with laboratory results have been confirmed including nine deaths by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, who made the confirmation in a State broadcast while giving reports on Lassa fever outbreak in Ondo state on Saturday night, said at present, 127 Hospital contacts and 308 Community contacts were listed in all the affected Local Government Areas, while thirty have completed their follow-up.
He revealed that patients were being managed at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, while confirmatory tests are done at Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua, Edo State.
To contain the spread of the disease, Akeredolu said an Emergency Preparedness and Response Team has been reactivated at both the State and Local Government levels in addition to Active Surveillance and contact tracing in the affected Local Government Areas.
He added that sensitization and community mobilization are going on in all Local Government Areas for traditional rulers, religious leaders, political leaders, market women and other stakeholders.
“Publicity is also ongoing through radio jingles, radio and television discussions in our media houses.”
”Information, Education and Communication materials such as handbills, flyers and posters have been produced and these are being distributed.”
He further said vehicles have been dedicated for transportation of samples and referred patients to Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospitals, Irrua, Edo State just the Infectious Disease Isolation Unit at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo has been expanded through the support of his administration.
“Some Personal Protective Equipment, PPE, Drugs, and hospital beds were donated to FMC, Owo to support the management of the patients.”
“Some Nursing Staff were also released to the Treatment Centre to support the management of the patients.”
He commended Non-Government Organizations like Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA), UNICEF, WHO and Nigerian Centre for Disease Control for their support as well as Health Personnel of both Ondo State Health Service and Federal Medical Centre, Owo for their commitment.
Akeredolu advised the people to take necessary preventive measures to contain Lassa fever including stopping habit of spreading food items in the open so as to prevent contamination by rat.
He emphasied the need for the people to make their environments clean, clear all bushy surroundings and avoid bush burning in order not to drive rats and other dangerous animals to our homes.
He warned that all deaths must be reported and permission sought before burial as he assured that his administration remains committed to the provision of accessible and qualitative Health Care to the people.
YOMI AYELESO, Akure