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Lassa fever: FCTA kicks off massive sensitization exercise
• Officials storm markets, motor parks, Area Councils

10th Feb, 2020 | By Reginald Uhegbu | ||

Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has flagged off mass sensitisation of FCT residents on the outbreak of Lassa fever in the country with the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu reiterating the Administration's commitment to all activities aimed at strengthening awareness and prevention of the disease. The Minister of State stated this during a sensitisation meeting with market women on the Lassa fever disease held at Gwagwalada market.

She said that the sensitisation exercise was kick-started with women deliberately because according to her, when women and mothers take up leadership positions in matters of public health importance the results are usually great and rewarding to families and society at large, adding that they play pivotal role in information dissemination. While reeling out preventive measures to the market women which includes good environmental and personal hygiene to prevent rodents from entering homes and markets and having access to foodstuff, the Minister of State also charged the six Area Council Chairmen to replicate the sensitisation campaign in markets and other locations in their various Area Councils.

She added that one of the key preventive measures for Lassa fever is neighbour-to-neighbour information and urged the Council Chairmen to conduct advocacy and sensitisation visits to communities, markets and other places where people live and gather. In her presentation on facts about Lassa fever, the FCT Director of Public Health, Dr. Josephine Okechukwu traced the history of Lassa fever to Borno State where the first reported case occurred in Lassa community with two missionary nurses dead from the then-unusual febrile illness.

She pointed out that Lassa fever occurs throughout the year but that more cases are recorded during dry season (November to May) with an estimated 300,000-500,000 cases and 5,000 related deaths occurring annually in West Africa. Though she said the incidence case is unknown in Nigeria, a total of 689 suspected cases were reported from 1-26 January, 2020, out which 258 were confirmed with 41deaths. In the FCT, Dr. Okechukwu stated, a total of eight suspected cases were reported in two Area Councils between the 1-26 January, 2020, adding that none of the cases were confirmed to have Lassa fever.

News Update

Minister of State, FCT, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, made the revelation during flag- off of the first round of 2020 National Immunization Plus Days (NIPDs) at Dutse Makaranta, Bwari Area Council, last week.

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