Residents of Ondo State have been advised to maintain a healthy environment and avoid rats from getting in contact with their food, so as to prevent the spread of Lassa fever in the state.
The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dayo Adeyanju, stated this on Thursday at a sensitisation meeting on the management and control of Lassa fever held in Owo town of Ondo State, southwest Nigeria.
The Commissioner had earlier stopped on the highway between Akure and Owo to educate some residents on the need to stop spreading food substances such as cassava and yam flour near bushes, in order to prevent rats from contaminating the food.
He disclosed that the state government had made funds available to procure the equipment for testing the disease, as the victims pass through a lot of suffering which worsens their situation when they are being transferred to Edo State for treatment.
Speaking to reporters, a public health physician, Dr. Olufemi Ayodeji, explained the cause of the disease and how it is transmitted.
He said that the symptoms of Lassa fever include body pains, vomiting and the regular fever just like malaria, saying it could only be diagnosed through medical tests on the victims.
The Vice Chairman of Owo Local Government, Mr Olusola Owadasa and the traditional ruler of one of the towns in the area, Oba Omotunde Adako, voiced their support for the sensitisation programme.
They promised to help disseminate relevant information and also educate their people about the disease.
One confirmed case and two suspected cases of Lassa fever have been identified in Ondo State, southwest Nigeria.
The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dayo Adeyanju, made the disclosure on Wednesday in an interview with reporters in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
Dr. Adeyanju said the confirmed case, which occurred in Owo, was identified at the Federal Medical Centre located in the town and had been referred to the General Hospital Irrua in Edo State for treatment.
He added that the samples of the tests conducted on the two suspected cases have also been sent to the hospital.
The Commissioner disclosed further that health officers were keeping tab on five contacts of the patients, in order to curtail the spread of the disease that have also been detected in some other states in Nigeria.
He informed reporters that emergency operation centres and surveillance operations across the state have been very active.
Adeyanju noted that widespread sensitisation programmes were ongoing, assuring the residents of the state that there was no cause for alarm.
The Ondo State government has commenced a sensitisation programme on Lassa Fever for health workers in the state.
The state’s Ministry of Health started the awareness programme on Friday, as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the viral disease in the state.
In a chat with reporters, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dayo Adeyanju, disclosed that the essence of the programme was to be battle ready for any single case of Lassa Fever in the state.
He indicated that the sensitisation would start with health workers, as most of the recent cases of the fever had health workers involved.
The Commissioner equally informed reporters that all necessary drugs and consumables had been dispatched to all the local government areas of the state.
However, during the programme, which was held in Akure, the capital of the State, the Resource Person, Dr. Akinola Fatiregun, from the World Health Organisation, said that the disease was first reported in Nigeria in 1969.
He stated that it was widespread in Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
According to him, the mode of transmission is from rat to human and also from human to human.
The Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Health, Dr. Taiwo Oni, also stated that with the knowledge that the disease had reoccurred in Anambra and Delta States, the emergency preparedness unit swung into action in order to curtail any occurrence in the State.
Lassa Fever may not be an easily identifiable disease, but the deadly nature of the virus is making the Ondo State government to alert health workers on the need to be battle ready should there be any outbreak in the state.
The Wife of Ondo State Governor, Mrs. Olukemi Mimiko, has reiterated her support and that of her husband’s administration to the welfare of adolescents and youths in the state.
Mrs. Mimiko made this promise at the official launching and commissioning of a newly completed Adolescent and Youth Friendly Health Centre in Akure, Ondo State Capital.
The health facility, which is located at the premises of the Ondo State Specialist Hospital, Akure, is an initiative of the state government to guarantee qualitative health care services to all young people in the State.
The centre is planned to offer integrated services in four core areas namely: clinical preventive services, community-based outreaches, treatment and curative services, as well as referral services.
The Governor’s wife emphasized the importance of the well being of the younger generation, as the youths and adolescents constitute about 30 per cent of the state’s population, adding that they hold the peace and joy of parents and the entire society.
While addressing the gathering, the Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dayo Adeyanju, said the health facility is a well-being clinic, as it is meant to serve people who are not sick, but want to remain in good health.
He urged all parents and guardians to pay adequate attention to the young ones, in order to prevent them from engaging in anti-social behaviours that can have adverse effects on their well-being.
Members of the Ondo State Task Force against Counterfeit and Substandard Drugs have launched actions against the sale and consumption of fake and counterfeit drugs in the State.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dayo Adeyanju, who led the team to some pharmacies and patent medicine stores in Akure, the State Capital, said the government was out to ensure that all the drugs sold in the state were of standard quality.
The team visited pharmacies and patent medicine stores in the city with a Truscan Machine to test the quality and originality of the drugs being sold to the members of the public.
The team visited the pharmacy of the State Specialist Hospital, where all the drugs tested passed, indicating they were of standard quality.
The test was carried out on antimalarial, antibiotics and analgesics.
Dr. Adeyanju explained that the operators of pharmacies visited that had drugs that failed the test had been directed to remove the drugs from stock. According to him, further tests would be carried out on them.
He warned that any pharmacy or patent medicine store found selling illicit drugs would be arrested and their premises shut.
On his part, the State Coordinator of the National Agency for Foods Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Wole Ojo, noted that “any drug that fails the test will be mopped up and destroyed by the agency”, adding that those selling such drugs will be surcharged.
According to him, the crusade has started in Ifon, Ose Local Government Area of the State and it would be taken to all the towns and villages across the state.
One of the stores visited for inspection was shut down by NAFDAC for selling injection equipment without due authorisation.
The Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, believes that polio has been totally eradicated in the state and routine immunization should become a subculture of Nigeria’s healthcare system.
Stakeholders on polio eradication and routine immunization held the third quarterly meeting with Governor Mimiko at the Cocoa Conference Hall of the Governor’s Office in Akure.
There, he pledged to continue to address the challenges being encountered in the fight against polio in the state.
Governor Mimiko promised that all the materials needed for the successful implementation of the programme would be put in place in the state.
He assured members of the state task force on polio eradication and routine immunization that government would continue to do what is required to keep polio out of the state.
In his speech, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dayo Adeyanju, reiterated the importance of the meeting as it would help get feedback from health workers in the field.
An audio-visual presentation of the scorecard of the routine immunization and polio eradication across the 18 Local Government Areas of the state was showcased by a representative of the partner agencies.
Among the Stakeholders present at the meeting were the Primary Healthcare Coordinators in the 18 Local Government Areas of the state, the directors in the State Ministry of Health, representatives of partner agencies, religious leaders, royal fathers and women groups.
The Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Dr Dayo Adeyanju on Saturday said the business of harvesting and selling bush meat has been banned in the State, pending the time the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak is eradicated.
Adeyanju, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Saturday breakfast programme, Sunrise, said this measure was part of the State government’s efforts at safeguarding the people of the State from the disease, and not get caught unaware.
Although the traders affected may have to find other means of livelihood, Adeyanju noted that it was a sacrifice they would need to make for the good of others.
He also noted that “one needs to be worried and put all the machinery in action, to avoid an outbreak”, in their surroundings.
Hence, the Ondo state government had embarked on a light sensitisation programme, to avoid panic, before the disease was confirmed in Lagos, and increased effort, after Patrick Sawyer was confirmed Ebola positive.
The first set of people sensitised were health workers, followed by traditional rulers, religious leaders and residents living at the coastal lines.
Shedding light on government’s efforts at ensuring that the awareness level is high, Adeyanju said the campaign was being done in three of the major languages, spoken in the state, as well as in English.
He highlighted that the religious groups had also been spoken to, especially the Islamic community, where it is the norm to bury dead people within 24 hours.
Government had suggested the option of cremation, which has encountered opposition. Hence, the need to engage religious leaders.
Also speaking on the programme, the Commissioner for Health, Imo State, Dr. Edward Ihejirika, said the State had been worried since EVD was confirmed in Rivers State.
Speaking on the measures taken by the government to tackle the disease if discovered in the State, Ihejirika noted that dedicated Ebola helplines had been published and in light of the Federal Government’s directive that schools should resume on September 22, information, communication and education materials on the virus would be distributed to schools.
The Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko has revealed that no case of polio has been recorded in the state in the last four years.
He made the announcement at the official flag off ceremony of the first round of National Immunisation Plus Days (NIPDS) in State Specialist Hospital Akure where top government functionaries, community leaders, health workers, representatives of partner agencies and nursing mothers converged for the ceremony.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dayo Adeyanju stated that efforts must be sustained towards maintaining the zero level of polio occurrence in the state.
He informed that up to 13 states in Nigeria still have polio.
Dr. Adeyanju also urged nursing mothers to ensure that their children are constantly being immunized in order to prevent them from catching the disease from infected immigrants.
Governor Olusegun Mimiko, represented by his deputy, Alhaji Ali Olanusi emphasised that all eligible children in the state must be immunized against polio and other childhood killer diseases.
He assured that Ondo State would continue to be polio free as government will continue providing the required technical and financial resources to all the Local Government Areas of the state.
The Deputy Governor on behalf of the governor flagged off the exercise by administering the immunization to some of the babies at the venue.
The polio vaccine is administered to babies at birth and at six, ten and fourteen weeks after birth to prevent them from being infected with the virus causing the disease.