The National Centre for Disease Control has embarked on an intensive awareness campaign to tackle Lassa fever in Ebonyi communities.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the interactive forum convened in Abakaliki, was attended by traditional rulers, representatives of Local Government Areas Chairmen, women and the youth.
Speaking during an interactive forum with stakeholders, Dr Robinson Nnaji, Team Leader of the NCDC Rapid Response Team to Ebonyi said that the centre was aimed at deriving responses on the disease at the grassroots.
Nnaji said: “We seek to enlighten the people on the symptoms of lassa fever and measures to take in identifying suspected cases and its overall prevention.
“We are satisfied with the responses achieved during the forum as participants arrived at resolutions aimed at containing the disease, having been enlightened on its symptoms.”
The team leader noted that emphasis was placed on intensive community awareness; use of town criers to enlighten people about the disease, environmental cleanliness, safe burials for victims and weekly meetings on lassa fever.
He said: “The number of casualties from Ebonyi according to NCDC’s findings is 12 but the state commissioner for health is in the best position to give the official death figure from the state.
“The most important thing is that the NCDC has sent a rapid response team to strengthen surveillance system in the state, in appreciation of the state government’s efforts to contain the disease.
“The construction of the South East Virology Centre by the state government is a huge commitment as it serves the state, the South East zone and other parts of the country.”
Dr Emeka Samson, the State Epidemiologist commended the NCDC’s efforts, noting that its activities had assisted the people to be abreast of ways to contain the disease in the state.
Samson said: “This interactive forum has actually enlightened stakeholders who will educate the people at the grassroots of the disease and we will build on its gains.
“The NCDC surveillance team has seen the commitment of the state government to contain lassa fever and decided to complement it to achieve the desired goals.
“They are, therefore, assisting us in the areas of sensitisation, community surveillance, contact tracing and case management, among others.”
He maintained that the state commissioner for health was the authentic source from which the number of casualties and other related information about the disease could be accessed.