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FMOH commends Edo swift action on Lassa fever

 With a drop in the number of Lassa fever cases in February, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has commended the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki for his swift response to the outbreak, by ensuring facilities were in top form at the Irrua Specialist Hospital, where the Institute of Lassa Fever Research and Control is located.

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According to a statement by the Special Adviser, Media to the Edo State government, Crusoe Osagie, the Minister noted that the state showed greater level of preparedness.

Adewole who made the remark at the recent National Council of Health meeting, said, “Edo State Government is a good example and other states should emulate them.”

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In previous years, the annual record of cases in Nigeria have been, at least 100. But in January 2018 alone, there were 80 recorded cases.

Following an emergency executive council meeting summoned by the governor, from which a marshal plan was rolled out, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. David Osifo, said the prevention and control of Lassa Fever in the state was multi-sectoral “involving the Ministries of Health, Environment, Agriculture, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and Information, who are working together to put measures in place that will stop the further spread of the current outbreak.”

According to him, “Edo State and some other parts of the country are currently experiencing the outbreak of Lassa Fever with significant proportion of the Local Government Areas in Edo Central and Edo North senatorial districts of the state already involved in the outbreak while the others are at risk of being affected.”

The statement said an initial tranche of N100m was released to contain the outbreak, as the state’s rapid response team was reactivated and commenced contact tracing for confirmed cases of the disease. Also, its officials worked closely with the Institute and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for case management and disease surveillance.

Osifo cautioned residents in the state to keep their environment clean, eliminate rats from homes and communities, avoid bush burning that can drive rats into homes, protect their food stuffs and wash their hands properly and regularly.

He said measures taken to stem the spread include awareness and sensitisation campaign reactivated with the Ministry of Information and deployment of radio and television jingles on Edo Broadcasting Services radio and television; written letters to all the 18 Local Government Areas to intensify mass awareness creation and sensitisation; reactivation of the state rapid response team and the commenced tracing of all contacts with confirmed cases, among others.”

There has been a record decline in the partner of outbreak away from recorded cases in January. There have been less than 10 cases so far, in February. 

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