WHO partners Edo State to eradicate Lassa fever

The State Government says it is collaborating with the World Health Organisation and other relevant health institutions to eradicate Lassa fever in the state.

This was revealed by the deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, during the flag-off ceremony for the elimination of Lassa fever in the Etsako West Local Government Area of the state on Wednesday.

He said, “The state government is collaborating with WHO to find a lasting solution to Lassa fever in Edo. WHO is supporting the government to coordinate technical assistance and operational support for the deployment of One Health Rapid Response Teams to the most affected local government areas. WHO has also mobilised experts to intervene in investigations, contact tracing and risk communication of the disease in the state.”

Shaibu advised residents to avoid bush burning to reduce the number of rodents that find their way into homes, noting that the spread of Lassa fever is caused by infected rats.

The deputy governor also urged residents to maintain clean environment, and also stressed the need to cover all food to prevent rodents’ contamination.

The WHO State Coordinator, Mrs. Faith Ireye, said Edo State had the second highest cases of Lassa fever reported in the country, adding that the organisation would ensure that infected people have access to quality health care services.

“To reduce the prevalence rate in the state, we have embarked on vector control (deratisation) using an integrated approach involving the One Health Team.

“WHO is working alongside the state ministries of health, agriculture and environment and waste disposal, using the one health approach to achieve control of vectors that carry the disease.

“We have also been conducting Lassa fever sensitisation campaigns using key informants, traditional rulers, other stakeholders, contact listing and daily follow-up,” Ireye said.

The Acting Chairman of the local government, Mr. Desmond Imonikhe, said that the council had constituted surveillance teams to monitor and check the outbreak of the disease in the locality.

Imonikhe said the council had embarked on sensitisation campaign against the spread of the disease, adding, “The sensitisation and awareness campaign became imperative due to the rising cases of Lassa fever in the area.

“Lassa fever is an acute viral infection which is transmitted from the faeces and urine of rats when in contact with food and the food is eaten. This disease is associated with bleeding and can affect any age group.

“Residents are required to be vigilant, maintain the highest hygiene standard possible and to avoid contact with infected foods.

“They should report illnesses and deaths emanating from the disease to hospitals and government health centres,” Imonikhe advised.

(NAN)

 

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