By Peter Duru – Makurdi
The National Orientation Agency, NOA, has commenced the training of information managers and sensitization of the Benue rural populace on the danger of the dreaded Lassa fever.
Flagging off the training and sensitization exercise yesterday in Makurdi, State Director of NOA, Richard Abimiku said the programme would help create awareness about the dangers of the ailment and also prepare the agency’s Information Managers for enlightenment campaigns across the state.
He explained that the agency would not relent to ensure proper dissemination of information about the ailment in the rural communities to check its spread.
Presenting a paper on signs and symptoms of Lassa fever, the state’s epidemiologist, Dr. Sam Ngishe, stated that the ailment had become a public emergency stressing that it would require collaborative efforts by all stakeholders to contain its outbreak.
While urging the information managers to sensitise the people on the need to report persistent fever to appropriate health authorities as quickly as they could for treatment, Dr. Ngishe explained that early detection of the disease would save lives.
“The virus comes from the body fluids of rats and once the body fluids contaminate utensils, it could cause infection which is preventable and treatable.
“Infected persons can also infect others and it only takes a few days (2-21days) to show signs and symptoms such as fever, sore throats, bloody diarrhea, bleeding from the gums, bleeding into skin, eyes, and urine,” he added.