The State Government of Osun has admonished the people of the state not to entertain any fear regarding the outbreak of lassa fever disease in the eastern part of the state as adequate measure to curtail its spread have been put in place.
This assurance was jointly given on behalf of the State Government in Osogbo by both the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Rafiu Isamotu and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Health, Dr. Olasiji Olamiju while addressing the press to formally break the news of the epidemic outbreak in the state.
They both stated that it is no longer a hidden information that we have two (2) confirmed cases of lassa fever, one at Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH), Ile – Ife and the other at Wesley Guild Hospital, Ilesa adding that the State Government under leadership of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola had in anticipation of the outbreak put in place superb measures to make sure that it is well contained.
According to them, the government has been very proactive since the news of the outbreak of lassa fever in the country came into public domain weeks ago, stressing that the government was not caught unawares as the necessary massive awareness which cuts across every strata of the society including the sanitary workers, health workers, local government chairmen, councillors, religious organizations, and the grassroots among others have been created on both the radio and television as well as the print media.
On measures to be taken by the people at home to prevent themselves from getting infected with the disease, they reminded them to get rid of rodents (rats) from their homes and take adequate care of their food items in such a way that rats will not gain access to spit, urinate or defecate on them.
They also advised them reiterating that they should be vigilant about their environment with special attention to their neighbours having lassa fever related symptoms such as high fever, headache, muscle or general body weakness and as a matter of social responsibility take the person to the nearest hospital or call the O’Ambulance to help bring such suspected cases to the nearest hospital.
Incase of any need to make contact regarding any information, they advised the public to call under-listed numbers:
08187187678, 08173112320 and 08056456250.
In their submission, they opined that State Government operates a good and functional ambulance services which can be assessed any time of the day.
Reacting to the question raised on the abscondment of one of the patients, they informed that there was no official report on it but enjoined health workers in the state to always follow the normal channel of epidemiological report that will not engender panic among the people stressing that panic even kills more than disease.
They then implored the people to do away with fear saying the state government will continue to employ adequate measure to ensure that the confirmed cases are well contained adding that protocols for management of the disease have been given to hospitals in the state, most especially the State Specialist hospital, Asubiaro while two (2) isolated areas to keep any person infected with lassa fever virus have been created.
Rotimi W. Adesina
Ministry of Health/HMB