Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has expressed concern over the outbreak of Lassa fever in the country in general and Ondo in particular.
In a state broadcast in Akure, on Tuesday, Akeredolu also lamented that “some of our citizens still indulge in habits that continue to encourage its spread.”
He noted that unless those habits and practices were dropped, “it will be very difficult for us to overcome the challenge that Lassa fever poses.”
He said: “This is a serious infectious disease that has been with us for some years. It is a disease that is caused by an organism and spread to man by rats. This outbreak has been occurring fairly regularly over many decades, unfortunately in the past few years it has increased in magnitude. Sadly, within the few weeks of this year, several scores have been affected and some had died from the disease.
“We commiserate with families who have lost loved ones, and wish those on treatment speedy recovery.
“Our administration has taken steps to curtail this outbreak, including inaugurating a special multi-sectoral committee to address the outbreak; embarking on aggressive waste management campaign, provision of adequate human, financial and material resources to treat patients and follow up care of contacts and relatives, establishing and equipping the State Infectious Disease Hospital, creating awareness and public enlightenment in affected communities.
“Despite these, the state still finds itself at the throes of another serious outbreak. One important reason for this is the fact that some of our citizens still indulge in habits that continue to encourage its spread.
“This disease is treatable. However, it is important for those affected to come early to hospitals, where experts can make correct diagnosis and treatment can start early.
“The government is determined that the yearly outbreak stops and to achieve this, the government has already taken certain important steps.
“We count on the support of our traditional and religious leaders in achieving this goal.”