The Kogi State Government on Thursday said it had taken some measures to mitigate flood disaster and outbreak Lassa fever and other epidemic prone diseases in the state.
This was disclosed at a joint media briefing in Lokoja, by all the relevant ministries in Kogi on public health regarding “Flood, Lassa and other Epidemic Prone Diseases.
The programme was organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in collaboration with Kogi Ministry of Health.
The state government recently confirmed four cases of Lassa fever and two deaths.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Audu, said the briefing was necessary to inform the public of government’s efforts in mitigating epidemic prone disease as part of public health issues in the state.
The commissioner, who was represented by Dr Ahmed Attah, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health Matters, said that as part of the measures, the state government had embarked on response efforts such as provisions of personal protective equipment, provision of ribavirin tablets for prophylaxis.
He said the state government had also built and equipped the Public Health Emergency Operation Centre (PHEOC), in collaboration with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
”We have provided Lassa fever Treatment Centre with well equipped side laboratory, community sensitisation, training of surveillance officers in collaboration with the state office of WHO.
“There is also a rapid response team to disease outbreak to any part of the state,” he said.
Audu advised the public to report to the nearest health facility in a case of fever, such as: vomiting, bleeding from orifices, muscle aches, sore throat, nausea and abdominal pain.
The Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Mr Sanusi Yahaya, also explained the efforts and measures his ministry had put in place to mitigate flooding.
Yahaya, who was represented by Mr Aaron Zakari, Director Sanitation, said they had provided plastic waste bins for proper waste collections to avoid dumping of refuse into drains and sewage.
He added that the ministry was doing frequent de-silting of drainage, adequate sensitisation of river side dwellers, and prosecution of those who built on flood plains.
”We have provided public toilets at strategic points to curb open defecation, sanitary bins with lid covers, and frequent evacuation of illegal dumps to avoid rodent infestation, among others,” Yahaya said.
On his part, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Kehinde Oloruntoba, said his ministry had educated farmers to avoid bush burning, block holes in houses and keep cats in homes to feed on rodents.
Represented by Dr Shaibu Hussein, a Director in the ministry, Oloruntoba, said they were sensitising farmers to avoid spreading food stuff on roads side, and also advised people wash fruits, vegetables and proper cooking of food before eating.