The Edo State Government has intensified surveillance and response activities for Lassa fever across the state’s 18 local councils as part of improved efforts to contain the disease and ensure the health of residents.
The Edo State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Obehi Akoria, disclosed this while speaking to journalists in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
She said the government is committed to curbing the spread of the disease across all communities in the state and has stepped up surveillance and response activities including contact listing and tracing, response coordination, case management, and risk communication, among others.
According to her, “Surveillance is necessary in boosting the government’s response to the disease as it is critical for early case detection, which is why we are paying a fine attention to surveillance activities. With a resilient surveillance system, we are able to detect cases on time through active case search and take prompt action by investigating and line listing contacts to ensure sample collection and testing where necessary. With this, we are able to curtail the spread of the disease and protect our people.”
She further urged residents to complement the government’s efforts at containing the disease by reaching out to the disease surveillance or notification officers within their local government areas if they have been in contact with someone confirmed to have Lassa fever or suspect any symptoms of Lassa fever or any other priority disease.
The disease surveillance or notification officers’ contacts include: Akoko Edo 07034420077; Egor 08078750376; Esan Central 09074513116; Esan North East 08034897353; Esan South East 07035389297; Esan West 07016618702; Etsako Central 07035411607 and Etsako East 09026339245.
Others are Etsako West 08060443793; Igueben 08135041727; Ikpoba Okha 08074431217; Oredo 09052887778; Orhionmwon 07032436654; Ovia North East 08036859629; Ovia South West 08130989877; Owan East 07031295391; Owan East 08135649368, and Uhunmwode 08057861900.
The Commissioner noted that the State Disease Surveillance and Notification Officer can be reached on 08060593802, while the State Epidemiologist can be contacted on 08064258163.
She further urged, “While the government continues to intensify efforts to contain the disease and protect citizens, we urge everyone to comply with all preventive protocols and visit the nearest health facility if they notice any of the signs and symptoms of Lassa fever; avoid self-medication.
“We also charge healthcare providers to practice standard precautions and maintain a high index of suspicion at all times. Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) must be applied to all suspected cases of malaria and if RDT is negative, other causes of febrile illness, including Lassa fever, should be considered. Accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment increase the chances of survival.”