The Lassa fever awareness initiative was held on Monday as the medical doctors visited major markets in Osogbo, the state capital, to educate traders on the deadly disease.
Leading the medical team to the Akindeko and Olu-Ode markets, the Chairman of NMA in the state, Dr Tokunbo Olajumoke said the sensitisation objective was to educate the traders on the existence of Lassa fever, its symptoms as well as the appropriate actions to take in the event of observing such symptoms.
Olajumoke told the traders that Lassa fever outbreak in Ondo state was a a warning indication to the people of Osun state. She, therefore, advised the traders to be careful with rats on the raw food stuff.
She said: “The vector (rats) are very close to the people in the market and when they (rats) touch what they (traders) sell, the buyers who consume the food would be infected.”
“It is very paramount to sensitize the traders on this and that’s why we embarked on this awareness tour to major markets in Osogbo and we are talking to the people in the local language and in a manner that they can understand and get the message so that we can prevent lassa fever rather than waiting to treat people when infected.
“As you are aware, lassa fever is already ravaging Ondo state which is very close to Osun and there have been reported cases of lassa fever in Osun. We have recorded a death in Osun as a result of lassa fever at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital in Osun here and it was confirmed.
“Also, 40 people are currently quarantined at isolated centers and they are under close examination to determine if they have been infected. We realised that prevention is better than cure and that was why we came out to sensitize traders today.”
Upon listening to the doctors’ advice, the leader of the market women at Akindeko market, Alhaja Sidikat Abidogun, appreciated and applauded the NMA for the initiative and enjoined the doctors to intensify the campaign and cover more markets so that majority of the people would be aware of the disease.