Lassa Fever: Katsina on high alert -says Govt

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The Katsina State Government on Saturday declared that it has activated its strategic alert level in anticipation of any outbreak of the dreaded Lassa fever which currently ravages its next door neighbour Kano and some other states of the federation.

The state’s Commissioner for Health, Engineer Nuhu Yakubu Danja told newsmen at a press briefing Katsina that  though the state is yet to record any outbreak of the disease, it has taken several proactive measures to immediately address any emergency health situation

He further disclosed that the state has equally activated strategic action for prompt response to symptoms to allay any fear or anxiety.

He listed some of the proactive strategies to include constitution of standby special team on infectious disease, establishment of isolation centres for laboratory testing of suspected cases, embarking on drug procurements for the treatment of potential patients

Other measures include embarking on sensitization campaign through clerics, traditional rules and community heads to raise the awareness level on causes and symptoms of the disease.

The Government is also taking measures to screen people entering the states particularly from neighbouring Kano and other states as well as other preventive measures and campaigns

He said ‘’we are liaising with Islamic and religious leaders to spread the awareness campaigns in churches and Mosques and other stakeholders, even at the rural and community levels to educate the on basic hygiene and environmental sanitation’’

The Commissioner further acknowledged that though the state is yet to receive assistance from the Federal government on the Lassa fever epidemic, it has gone ahead to draw up work plans where it had itemized requirements and gone ahead with the procurement of basic equipment to prevent spread

He further disclosed that the Ministry of health through the Primary Health Care Development Agency, PHCDA, is working closely with the Nigerian center for Disease Control, NSCDC, and colleagues from affected states.

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