By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Rattled by the breakout of Lassa fever in neighbouring Ondo State, the Ekiti State government has established a special centre where suspected victims will be treated.
Speaking in Ado Ekiti on Thursday at the flag off of a yellow fever vaccination programme, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Mojisola Yaya-Kolade, said Governor Kayode Fayemi has ordered taking proactive action, in view of the statistics indicating that 18 persons had been attacked in Ondo State while also battling many other suspected cases.
She said: “The governor, Dr Fayemi, has placed all the health officers in Ekiti on alert and we have designated one of our facilities for the special purpose of receiving any suspected case to the place for immediate treatment. The experts have held meetings with the governor in this regard.
“It has affected Ondo State, our neighbour and we need to be on alert because of the proximity. It is also spreading in Kano, 18 suspects had been diagnosed in Ondo.
“Leaders of health sector are in dialogue with stakeholders and international partners. We have got the mandate of the governor for the procurement of equipment like protective jackets and consumables that will be needed to diagnose and treat any victim.
“We have also created a location among the health facilities in Ekiti where potential victims will be taken to for treatment. That arrangements had been made.
“We are also sensitizing our people by letting them know that when you notice symptoms like body ache, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, haemorrhage, stomach ache and when temperature keeps rising after being treated for malaria fever, then report immediately. Ekiti must be on alert. Prevention is better than cure. We don’t want our people to die in Ekiti as a result of this disease.”
Yaya-Kolade, who represented the first lady, Mrs Bisi Fayemi, at the flag off of the anti yellow fever campaign, stated that the infection is common in Africa and the statewide vaccination is meant to safeguard the populace and stop the spread of the disease in Ekiti.
She assured the people of Governor Fayemi’s political will for the provision of financial and necessary manpower for the success of the yellow fever vaccination programme .
“We implore the parents, guardians and caregivers to use this opportunity to vaccinate their wards. We thank the World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other partners for their concerns for the well-being of Ekiti populace,” she said.
Also speaking about the danger posed by yellow fever, the WHO’s Regional representative, Dr. Funmi Kolude, added that the vaccine provides age-long protection for those that are vaccinated.
“When you take the vaccine, keep your cards because it provides lifetime protection, though it has no contraindications. You can get infected through mosquito and it is an haemorrhagic fever, which can spread from man to man and we don’t want the spread of such diseases in Ekiti,” Kolude said.
The Chairman, Ekiti State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Mrs Monisola Oloro, said acute viral haemorrhagic attack is potentially dangerous and can kill any victim, if not properly treated.
“Two cases of yellow fever has been identified in Ekiti with 24 suspected cases in 2019. Disease has no boundary, so we need to protect ourselves against contagious diseases that can shorten our life expectancy,” she added.