Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Ondo State governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, has set up an Emergency Response Committee on Lassa fever, following recent reported cases of the disease in the state.
The state had at the weekend recorded an outbreak of Lassa fever in some communities.
The governor in a swift reaction has put machinery in motion to fight the scourge among those infected with it, some of which are already receiving medical treatment in various hospitals in the state.
The committee set up by the governor is chaired by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Wahab and Adegbenro.
The committee has the General Manager of Ondo State Waste Management Authority, Mrs Bola Akinyanmi, as its secretary.
Other members of the committee included the Commissioner for Environment, Mr Funso Esan; Special Adviser to the Governor on Union Matters, Mr Alaba Isijola; Chairman, Caretaker Committee of Owo Local Government Area, Benjamin Adebayo; acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Dipo Durojaye; Managing Director ZL Global Ltd, Dr Abiola Bashorun and Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Yemi Olowolabi among others.
Inaugurating the committee, Governor Akeredolu charged its members to ensure that Lassa fever is flushed out of the state within the shortest possible time.
Also, the governor enjoined members of the committee to embark on campaigns, advocacy visits to royal fathers and religious leaders and to identify an appropriate dump site for human wastes.
Speaking, the Chairman of the Committee, Dr Adegbenro, said it was empowered to use all means available to it to checkmate attempts by anyone that might want to a clog in the wheel of progress of the committee’s efforts at curtailing Lassa fever in the state.
He said the sensitisation campaigns would be taken around the state to help residents to understand the need to keep their environment clean and live hygienic lives at all times so that the primary carrier of the Lassa virus would be eliminated.
He said: “Our people need to maintain cleaner environments, shun the habit of indiscriminate dumping of refuse around your homes so as not to attract rats. Government has set in motion immediate plans to evacuate all dumpsites to keep rats far away.
“The original source is from rats to human, but we have lots of human to human transmission and this is more of the reason why it is imperative to report any suspicious case to the nearest health facility where necessary tests would be carried out to ascertain if it’s malaria or not so as to have such patient appropriately referred.
“It is part of our culture to care for our sick ones, but while doing that, we must be very careful bearing in mind that there is an outbreak of this deadly disease,” he added.