By Dayo Johnson, Regional Editor, South West & Festus Ahon
Akure—SIX persons have been confirmed dead and 27 others under watch as the Lassa fever epidemic spread in Ondo State.
Also, the Chief Medical Director of the Federal Medical Center, FMC, Asaba, Delta State, Dr Victor Osiatuma has disclosed that a female adult, brought in from Anambra State last Sunday, has died of the fever.
Osiatuma, who disclosed this yesterday while receiving personal protective items donated by the Delta State government to the FMC to effectively curtail the Lassa fever outbreak in the state, said the female victim died Monday, a day after she was brought in.
The affected council areas in Ondo, where 26 persons are under watch, include Owo, Akoko south-west, Akure North and Akure south.
To prevent the spread, the state government has directed that any occurrence of the viral disease should “henceforth be brought to the notice of health officials at the council areas across the state.”
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Wahab Adegbenro gave the directive at a meeting with Primary Health Care, PHC, Coordinators in the 18 council areas of the state.
The meeting, attended by the Commissioner for Local government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Lola Fagbemi, the Administrative Secretary, Primary Health Care Development, Caretaker Chairmen in the 18 LG council and their primary health care coordinators, held in Akure, was at the instance of the deputy governor, Mr. Agboola Ajayi.
Adegbenro pointed out that it has become imperative that “burial for the body of any sudden death must henceforth be supervised by medical experts to prevent the possible spread of the disease, which had recorded 27 cases and six deaths.
Speaking on some of the preventive measures, the commissioner advised that, “We must discourage our people from sun drying garri and other stable food by the roadside where rodents can contaminate them.
On his part, the deputy governor, Agboola Ajayi charged the Primary Health Care Coordinators and all the Caretaker Chairmen to ensure that the immunization exercise for infants and the under aged children slated for the month of March recorded a huge success.
Also, the Information and Orientation Commissioner, Mr. Yemi Olowolabi said: “The isolation centre at the Federal Medical centre in Owo had also been reinforced to take adequate care of patients as part of efforts to check the spread of the disease.”
Olowolabi added that government was embarking on sensitisation of the public on unhygienic habits that could aid the spread of Lassa fever in the state.