Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has cried out over the recent Lassa fever outbreak which has reportedly claimed 15 lives in Ondo State and also left 28 people in critical conditions.
New Telegraph reported that the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Owo community of Ondo State, has over 100 people being treated for Lassa Fever. A source said the patients are from the border communities of the state in the Northern Senatorial District like Oka-Akoko, Owo and Ose axis. It was also gathered that a medical doctor lost his wife to the disease in the recent outbreak.
The source who also disclosed that some patients are being referred to the Virology Centre in Akure as FMC Owo is already filled up, hinged the increase in recorded cases of the disease on lack of awareness and sensitisation on how to prevent the deadly disease.
The state’s commissioner of health, Dr. Wahab Adegbenro confirmed the outbreak and also disclosed that it is being handled.
“I am currently at the governor’s office and we are having a meeting. That is (Lassa fever outbreak) what we trying to address now. We are working on the report available and the next line of action. That is why I am in the governor’s office.
“There will be pronouncement after the meeting.”
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu also confirmed the Lassa fever outbreak in a state broadcast on Tuesday January 21. He revealed that several people have died and have been affected by the disease, few weeks into the new year.
“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.
“Unless these habits and practices are jettisoned, it will be very difficult for us to overcome the challenge that Lassa fever poses.
“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.”