Government of the State of Osun has mandated all Local Governments, Local Council Development Areas and Administrative offices to immediately begin grassroots sensitisation of the citizenry to prevent the outbreak of Lassa Fever in the state.
Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Adebayo Adeleke and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Health, Pharmacist Olasiji Olamiju, disclosed this during an urgent sensitisation meeting with the council chairmen at the Ministry of Local Government Conference Hall, Abere on Friday.
The mandate, according to Olamiju was sequel to the spread of the disease in some states of the federation, including the neighbouring Ondo State where about 19 victims have reportedly died of the disease and many others in critical condition.
According to him, “Lassa fever is a disease caused through exposure of food or household items contaminated with urine or faeces of rats. The people must be sensitised on the need to take care of their food items and keep them away from rats.
“Part of the measures that should be reiterated to the people is the need to keep our environment clean, keep rats far away from homes and ensure that we always wash our hands.
“The health of the people is paramount to the administration of Governor Gboyega Oyetola and he wants all hands on deck to ensure that the people of the state do not fall victim of the deadly disease”, he stressed.
He hinted that the government has prepared isolation centres for victims, in case there of any reported case of the disease, while arrangement have also been made to protect the health officers that would be in charge of their treatments.
Adeleke, on his own said, the message must be taken by the council authorities as emergency, saying the council bosses also have the mandate in the constitution to guarantee healthy living of the people in their domains.
Describing the mandate given to the council as a very critical project, Adeleke stressed that Sanitary Officers, O’Clean Task Force and other stakeholders should be actively involved to ensure that the desired result is achieved.
He added that the council chairmen should explore the opportunity of radio and television adverts to be able to go deeper into the grassroots and ensure that the people get information on how to prevent the deadly disease.
According to him, there should be frequent report on the update by the various local government, with a view to ensuring that the appropriate authority at the state level swing into action.