By Isaac Olamikan, Senior Correspondent, Benin
Edo State Government has intensified efforts to curb the spread of Lassa fever into the state, in the wake of the resurgence of the viral disease across endemic states in the country.
In a statement, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said the state government’s efforts are being led by the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu.
He said the state government has a robust response system that is activated when cases of Lassa fever are reported, noting that government has over the years invested in the strengthening of hospitals to manage the viral disease.
According to him, “The state has a standing Lassa Fever Committee that coordinates efforts to stem the spread of the viral disease into the state. They also serve to manage cases where such are reported. We have over the years worked to equip the Institute of Lassa Fever Research and Control at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital with four dialysis machines, ventilators, personal protective equipment and drugs required for effective treatment of victims and management of Lassa fever cases.”
He noted that the committee is already hard at work with the recent cases of Lassa fever reported in neighbouring Ondo and Delta States.
The governor’s aide said enlightenment programmes are being held across the state to sensitise the people against the spread of the disease.
“Sensitisation programmes have commenced across the 18 local government areas of the state. This is coordinated by the committee. We are also keen on leveraging the partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO) for efficient contact tracing and monitoring so as to be pro-active in handling the crisis.