The State Government of Osun on Tuesday visited a major market in Osogbo, the state capital, to sensitise traders on the causes, symptoms and prevention of Lassa fever.
Dr. Olasiji Olamiju, the Special Adviser to Osun State Governor on Public Health who led the sensitization team, while addressing newsmen said the exercise was aimed at educating the traders on the existence of Lassa fever and ways to prevent it.
Olamiju said the market women were also taught the symptoms of the fever and the appropriate steps to take in case such symptoms were noticed.
He urged the traders to ensure proper environmental sanitation, dispose refuse properly, store their foodstuffs like rice, garri, beans, corn/maize in rat-tight containers, avoid drying food stuff outside on the floor/roadside where it will be exposed to contamination, eliminate rats in homes by setting rat traps, practice good personal hygiene and be mindful of rat droppings on food items.
“We visited the markets to talk to the people about Lassa fever which has been ravaging most of the states in the country.
“As we are all aware, rats are very close to the people in the market and when rats touch what the traders sell, the buyers who consume such contaminated food items would be infected.
“It is very paramount to sensitise the traders on this danger and that is why we have taken it upon ourselves to embark on this awareness tour to this Tuesday market in Osogbo.
“We are sensitising them in the local language and in a manner that they can easily understand and relate to, which is why we have the Iyaloja of this market with us.
“As you are equally aware, two cases have been confirmed and I urge all citizens not to panic because we are on right top of the situation and every necessary measures have been put in place to contain and curtail the spread.
“We realised that prevention is better than cure and that is why we came out to sensitise traders today,’’ Olamiju said.
Alhaja Abibat Olayiwola, Iyaloja of Igbona Market who joined the sensitization, commended the state government for the initiative.
She urged the government to intensify the campaign and cover more markets so that majority of the people would be aware of the scourge.
On the sensitization team are, the Chairman, Olorunda local government, Hon. Hammed Anisu, the Director of Public Health, Dr Adepoju, President, Environmental health Officers association of Nigeria, osun Chapter, Akinwumi Tope, among others.