Minister flags off Lassa Fever, Coronavirus awareness campaign in Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister of State, Ramatu Aliyu, on Tuesday flagged off a sensitisation and awareness campaign in Abuja to avert a possible outbreak of Lassa fever and Coronavirus in the nation’s capital.
According to the Minister, the awareness was aimed at ensuring that residents, especially mothers take up responsibilities in preventing Lassa fever and coronavirus diseases outbreaks in the territory, stressing that the battle against these global diseases should be the collective responsibility of both government and personal commitment.
Aliyu tasked religious leaders, traditional institutions and civil society organisations to join hands in the sensitisation campaign, just as she charged Area Council chairmen in the FCT to replicate this in markets and other locations in their various councils.
She explained that one of the key preventive measures for Lassa fever and coronavirus infections is neighbour-to-neighbour information and to conduct advocacy and sensitisation visits to communities, markets and other places where people live and gather, hence the need to intensify the awesomeness campaign.
The Minister disclosed that transmission from person to person can occur following exposure to the virus in the blood, tissue, urine, faeces or other bodily secretions of an infected individual, however, called for the promotion of good environmental and personal hygiene in individual homes.
“Humans become infected from direct contact with the urine and faeces of the rat which contains the virus, through touching soiled objects, eating contaminated food, or exposure to open cuts or sores.
“Transmission from person to person can occur following exposure to the virus in the blood, tissue, urine, faeces or other bodily secretions of an infected individual. Promoting good environmental and personal hygiene is to discourage rodents from entering homes and markets and having access to foodstuff,” she said.
Aliyu pledged the FCT Administration’s commitment to all activities aimed at strengthening the awareness and prevention of Lassa fever and coronavirus diseases and outbreaks in FCT, while reminding parents and caregivers to ensure that they follow all the preventive measures.
In his remarks, Chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council, Adamu Danze, commended the administration for taking proactive steps toward curbing the outbreak of Lassa fever and coronavirus in the territory.
Danze observed that taking the campaign to market women was a step in the right direction, adding that when women and mothers take leadership positions in matters of public health importance, the results are usually great and rewarding to families and society at large.
In her remarks, the Director of Public Health of Health and Human Service Secretariat, Okechukwu Josephine, revealed that Lassa fever is an epidemic-prone zoonotic disease, explaining that it is an acute viral illness, a haemorrhagic fever that was first reported in Lassa community in Borno state, where two missionary nurses died from an unusual febrile illness.