By Bode Akinbode, Ibadan
The Oyo State government, on Monday, called on all residents of the state to remain calm over the reported cases of Lassa fever in Iwajowa Local Government Area of the state.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Bode Ladipo, in a statement issued by the ministry, noted that the state government is doing everything possible to curtail further spread of the virus.
He added that in response to the development, the government has already set up surveillance system across local governments in the state to abate further transmission of the illness.
According to him, the Ministry of Health has purchased doses of antiviral agents for treatment of the reported cases, adding that personal protective devices had been provided for health care providers at Iwere Ile and Iganna.
He, therefore, enjoined the general public to refer similar cases to nearest government hospitals for free and quality care, and also call the following numbers: 09058704101,08025245800 and 08073431342.
The statement reads in part: “The attention of the Ministry was drawn to reported cases of deaths at Iwajowa Local Government Area of Oyo State on Wednesday, 12th January, 2022. The deaths were said to have been associated with fever, gastrointestinal symptoms and some neck swelling.
“This warranted a high-level investigating team led by the Honourable Commissioner for Health to visit the LGA on Thursday, 13th January, 2022 to assess the situation and provide necessary support to abate any further transmission of the illness.
“The team comprised of senior officials of the Ministry, the State Primary Healthcare Board and the World Health Organization (WHO).
“An initial visit to the State General Hospital at Iwere lle revealed the fact that there was an increase in number of cases brought from the Gaa Agbaruru settlement with confirmation of two (2) deaths at the facility. The team was then led to Gaa Agbaruru, a Fulani settlement in Iwere ward of the LGA where the victims of the illness came from.
“It was observed that there were cases with symptoms mentioned above but were recuperating. It was also confirmed that there was indeed high degree of contact between the inhabitants, rodents and bats. In addition, the challenge of having potable water was noted.
“Blood samples were taken from the recuperating individuals with sample of water also taken. These samples were sent to the National Reference Laboratory for Haemorrhagic Fever in Abuja for analysis and confirmation.
“The result of the investigation from the Reference Laboratory was received today, 17th January, 2022 with two (2) of the ten (10) samples testing positive for Lassa Fever.
“As such, the Ministry has repositioned doses of antiviral agents for treatment of the Lassa Fever cases and personal protective devices for the health care providers at Iwere lle and Iganna. Health education and environmental sanitation is presently ongoing in the communities.
“The State Surveillance System has been augmented across all Local Governments in the State. Suspected cases are to be referred to the nearest Government Hospital for free and quality care.”