Following 127 reported cases of Lassa Fever in Nigeria, Osun state government has commenced aggressive sensitisation of citizens as part of preventive measures.
This is as government took the campaign against the disease to markets across the state.
Speaking at Oluode Market in Osogbo, the Special Adviser on Public Health, Dr Olasiji Olamiju, said the Oyetola-led government had always embraced proactive measures especially in issues that pertain to public health.
This, according to him, explained the motivation behind the campaign, to educate citizens about the disease and how to prevent it.
Olamiju said though the disease had not escalated in Osun, the department of public health would not relent in putting necessary preventive measures in place in the state.
He advised residents to avoid contact with rats, maintain environmental hygiene and cover all foods and water properly.
Olamiju also cautioned residents against exposing foods where rats could have access to them, kill rats when they see any and discard any food suspected to have been tampered with by rats.
The Public Health expert also enjoined market women to wash cooking pots properly before and after use.
Listing the symptoms of the disease to include headache, sore throat, muscle pain, chest pain, nausea, diarrhea, cough and abdominal pain, he advised residents to promptly report such cases to the nearest health facility.
Alhaja Lateef Sidikatu, Head, Oluode Market, said the leadership of the market had taken proactive step to safeguard traders and customers against the disease.
”Immediately we were alerted of the outbreak in some neighbouring states, we quickly embarked on sensitisation for the traders and with the help of the government, we will also fumigate our market to make sure the environment is safe,” she said.
She commended the Oyetola-led administration for its efforts in educating the residents on how to protect themselves from contracting the disease.
She pledged total support of the market women to the ongoing sensitisation campaign and the actualization of Governor Oyetola’s second term election.
In their separate interviews, the State Epidemiologist, Dr. Omolola Adeagbo, the State Surveillance Officer, NCDC, Mr Ohuneni Stephen and the World Health Organization (WHO) Focal Person for the State, Dr Fatoki Bashir, described the campaign as an important activity to sensitize the populace about Lassa Fever and make them more cautious in order to prevent the disease.