The Nigeria Commissioner for Health in Plateau, Kunden Deyin, reported that the state has recorded eight deaths, 13 confirmed cases and 50 suspected cases of Lassa fever from December 2015 to date.
Mr. Deyin told the News Agency of Nigeria in Jos on Sunday that the state had commenced aggressive sensitisation and awareness campaigns in Jos-Bukuru metropolis and in the 17 local government areas.
He said that the campaigns aimed to enlighten the people on how to prevent the disease and ensure that the menace was nipped in the bud.
“Lassa fever is transmitted through the urine and excreta of a rat that serves as a reservoir for the Lassa virus and this rodent is usually attracted to dirty and flirty environments.
“The ministry, through its sensitisation campaign, is making an effort to educate the populace on the importance of keeping a clean environment and on the need to ensure that all foods are stored in rodent-proof containers.
“We are also encouraging them to desist from drying food stuff on the road side since the rats can urinate and defecate in them.
“We embarked on this social mobilization on Lassa fever because we believe that prevention is better than cure,” he said
Mr. Deyin also said that the ministry was in liaison with traditional and religious leaders on the need to sensitise their wards and congregations on the importance of promoting good community and personal hygiene.
He emphasised that this was the surest means of discouraging rodents from entering their houses.
He said the ministry had trained 54 laboratory scientists from the 17 local government areas to ensure that basic precaution methods were practiced and 20 morticians on how to decontaminate corpses.
He also said that the ministry had procured drugs, Personal Protective Equipment and other materials to ensure that standard precaution methods were observed on Lassa fever.