By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
Following the reported confirmation of two cases of Lassa fever in Osun state, the state government has called for calm among the residents.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Rafiu Isamotu and Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Health, Dr Olasiji Olamiju made the call on Monday at a press conference, held at the Ministry of Health.
Isamotu confirmed that two patients have been affected by the deadly disease saying that these affected persons are being treated at the Obafemi Awolowo Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife and Ilesa.
While calling for calm among the residents, the adviser to the Governor on Public Health, Dr Olasiji Olamiju said despite the confirmed two cases, people of the state should not panic at all as the state has put protective measures in place to curtail the spread of the deadly disease.
Olamiju said in addition to some of the precautionary measures put in place, the state government through the officials of the ministry of health on Sunday took campaigns to churches in the three Senatorial districts of the State, to sensitize and enlighten the church on its symptoms and how to track the disease.
The Special Adviser who led the campaign affirmed that the sensitization and awareness campaign was put together to increase the knowledge of members of the public on the scourge of the dreadful disease called Lassa fever.
Urging Christian faithful at Winners chapel, Christ Apostolic Church, Latona, Celestial Church of Christ Ayetoro in Osogbo; United Baptist church in Ede, St Peters Anglican church, Edunabon, St Paul Anglican church in Ile-Ife, and some mosques in Osogbo among others to be wary of rats making contacts with raw foodstuff.
Olamiju further expressed the readiness of the state government to combat the disease adding that the issue is being addressed by government officials.
“The State government is interested in the health of every citizen and that is why the governor has given me the mandate to take this campaign directly to the people. We are talking to them in the local language and in a manner that they can understand so that we can prevent Lassa fever rather than waiting to treat people when infected.”
“We have put in place all the protective measures and we have sensitized all our epidemiological antennas across the State to capture any case from spreading if discovered in any part of the state.”
He called on the people to remain alert, especially reporting of suspected outbreak and symptoms such as high fever, weakness, headaches, vomiting, and later bleedings from the mouth or other body orifices to the appropriate nearby health facilities.
“It is expedient for people not to allow their food items to be contaminated with rodent urine or faeces”, he added.
He said the state government has established an isolated place to quarantine the effected persons.