Edo steps up campaign against Lassa fever, rallies patent medicine dealers
Edo State Government is stepping up campaign to curb spread of Lassa fever in the state, rallying stakeholders to contain the disease and protect citizens across all communities.
The government, through the state Ministry of Health, took the sensitisation to Edo Central and Edo North Senatorial Districts, meeting with patent medicine dealers in the senatorial districts so as to complement government’s efforts at containing the disease.
Special Assistant, Media Project to the state Government, Crusoe Osagie, said in a statement that members of the sensitisation campaign were Incident Manager, Ministry of Health, Dr. Ekaete Tobi, state Director of Public Health, Dr. Stephenson Ojeifoh and Director of Pharmacy Services, Ministry of Health, Mrs. Osa-Afe Tivere, among others.
The sensitisation, according to Edo State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Obehi Akoria, is aimed at forestalling further spread of the virus to other parts of the state. He noted that Edo North and Edo Central Senatorial Districts account for over 95 per cent of the 40 confirmed cases in the state.
He said: “The Governor Godwin Obaseki government remains committed to the health and wellbeing of all residents and is taking necessary steps, including improving surveillance and sensitisation, among others, to contain Lassa fever and protect Edo people.
“Edo State Public Health Emergency Operation Centre for Lassa fever has been activated since January 5, even as we have continued to rally stakeholders in the state, especially in Edo Central and Edo North, where we have most confirmed cases of the virus. The two senatorial districts account for about 99 per cent of all confirmed cases in the state as we recently confirmed one case in Ovia North East local council, which is the only Lassa fever case recorded in Edo South Senatorial District.”
The health commissioner said the ministry decided to focus on patent medicine dealers because they are the first point of call by patients, who may be manifesting symptoms of Lassa fever. He said they have been told to always refer such patients to nearest health facility such as the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital for Lassa fever screening, where everything medications concerning Lassa fever treatment has been provided by the government for free.
“We also educated the patent medicine vendors on some of the symptoms to watch out for while attending to these suspected Lassa fever patients.”