The Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency recorded 22 deaths from Lassa fever cases across the state in 2023, Chairman of the agency, Rilwanu Mohammed, said.
He made this known at a one-day advocacy engagement meeting with traditional and religious leaders on Thursday.
The meeting, in Bauchi, was on prevention of infectious diseases.
The meeting was organised by an NGO, Women Development Association for Self Sustenance, supported by WaterAid Nigeria.
The Chairman, represented by Haruna Wakil, Deputy Director, Disease Control and Immunisation of the agency, said the state also recorded 678 suspected Lassa fever cases, 95 confirmed cases and 22 deaths.
Mohammed added: “The worst hit local government areas are Alkaleri, Bauchi, Tafawa Balewa, Ganjuwa, Dass, Kirfi, Toro and parts of Kanam in Plateau State.
He, therefore, stressed the need for proactive measures in the fight against infectious diseases, adding that traditional rulers and community leaders have significant roles to play in achieving the set objectives.
He further stressed the need to always pause and reflect on the present situation of things in communities to achieve the set objectives of a healthy society.
He assured the agency’s readiness to collaborate with relevant organisations and NGOs to promote primary healthcare services in communities.
Haruna Suleiman, Head of Inspection, Bauchi State Environmental Protection Agency, said the meeting was aimed at achieving a healthy society.
Suleiman said that the importance of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene cannot be overemphasised “because it is the basis of living due to the fact that life itself revolves around cleanliness.”
He, however, lamented that people had since abandoned the COVID-19 protocol of social distancing, washing of hands and wearing of face mask, a development that increased the spread of infectious diseases.
On his part, Magaji Barde of WODASS said the meeting was aimed at sensitising traditional rulers and community leaders on efforts toward mobilising people to ensure healthy environment.