Lassa fever: Kwara monitors 16 persons, no outbreak-Commissioner

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Ilorin

Kwara state government says it has identified and monitoring 16 persons suspected to have have some contacts with the four Beninoise said to have tested positive to Lassa fever in Benin republic.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr Raji Razaq, who disclosed this at a news conference in Ilorin on Tuesday, said the four Beninoise were said to have come to a neighbouring community in Baruten Local Government Area of the state.

According to the commissioner, the four persons tested positive to Lassa fever after they returned to the Francophone country, adding that one of them has died.

He said that the government had activated all relevant preventive measures to guide against the spread of Corona Virus and Lassa Fever to the state.

The commissioner called on residents to increase their personal hygiene and report any illness in the nearest health centre.

Razaq said that the state government had also beefed up preparedness and capabilities of its personnel and other stakeholders, since the first confirmation of the case in China toward the end of 2019.

Razaq debunked, claims on social media, that the state recorded some cases of Lassa fever, stressing that the cases so reported were in a neighbouring community in Benin Republic which shares border with Baruten Local Government Area of the state.

He said: “The 16 persons (who are Nigerians) are currently asymptomatic (not showing any sign of illness) and we are following up on them.

” All Kwarans should be calm and take necessary precautionary measures to protect them and others by ensuring regular and thorough washing of the hands with soap and running water.

“They should engage in regular use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers and stay at home, if they feel unwell, with symptoms like fever, cough and difficulty in breathing,” Razaq advised.

He said the state government had adopted a multisectoral approach to prevent any outbreak of the disease, comprising various ministries and agencies of the State and Federal Government, to ensure effective surveillance at all points of entry at the border.

In another development, the Commissioner for Education, Fatimah Ahmed, has flagged-off statewide sensitisation campaign against COVID-2019.

The flag sensitisation programme took place at the Sheikh Abdulsalam Junior Secondary School and United Secondary School, Taiwo Isale, Ilorin.

She said, “It is important that our students imbibe the culture of washing hands,properly, with water, soap and sanitiser. We are getting the materials across all our schools.”

Ahmed,who explained that government was being proactive against CODIV-19 which is ravaging many parts of the world, urged the students to ensure that they keep themselves and the environment safe at all times.

She said the government had procured gloves, sanitizers and other materials needed to guarantee hygiene,adding that same materials were being distributed to schools across the 16 local government areas of the state.

“To avoid the spread of the disease, we have to prevent it and the only way to prevent it is to take the campaign to schools.

“We want our students to take personal hygiene very important,” Ahmed said.

The commissioner appealed to head teachers and principals in all schools to step up sanitation exercise and promote personal hygiene among the pupils and students, to avert COVID-2019 and outbreak of other diseases.

The Principal of Sheikh Abdulsalam Junior Secondary School, Hajia Zuwerat
Aluko, assured the commissioner that the materials would be put to proper.

She urged the students to adhere strictly to the instruction of constant hand washing before entering their classrooms.

The Commissioners for Communication, Murtala Olanrewaju; Environment, Architect Aliyu Saifudeen; Education,Fatimah Ahmed; Comptroller of Immigration ,Kwara Command, Edith Onyemenam; and other top government officials attended the occasion.

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