Director, Public Health Department of the FCTA Health Secretariat, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, revealed yesterday in Abuja that the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA has mapped out plans to curtail the spread of Lassa Fever in the territory.
Balarabe said that the secretariat had instituted coordinated activities to promote and encourage healthy behaviours and that the secretariat is collaborating with the six area councils and other relevant organisations to check the spread of the deadly disease.
In an interview with NAN, she stated that “We are strengthening all surveillance activities and executing coordinated community-wide activities to encourage healthy behaviour.
“This will help us take informed action and provide basic materials like hand sanitisers, hand gloves, masks, and others for the observance of universal safety precautions in the FCT.’’
She said that disease surveillance and notification officers in the area councils had also been put on alert and added that clinicians in public health facilities would be put through a sensitisation programme, to raise index of suspicion on Lassa fever.
“ This sensitisation awareness will subsequently cover clinicians in private health facilities.
“We have also prepositioned 20 Personal Protective Equipment, PPE, and 100 ampoules of iv Ribavirin drug in the National Hospital and all FCT-owned hospitals for the management of the disease.’’
She gave assurance that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, had committed to providing the drug of choice for the treatment of the Lassa Fever to the FCTA Health Secretariat.
Meanwhile, a statement signed by the Mr. Hamzat Sule, the Deputy Director/Chief Press Secretary to the FCT Minister, said that the administration had taken proactive steps to prevent the spread of the disease.
The statement said that the action became necessary following the death of a man carrying the disease, who visited Abuja from neighbouring Plateau State.
The statement advised FCT residents to keep their houses and surroundings clean and to desist from spreading foods to dry along the road.
It further said that residents should block all holes around the houses, clear all bushes and dispose of refuse in covered dustbins.
“The Administration has advised the residents to discard all foods partly eaten by rats and to seal tightly, all animal foods in metal containers.’’
It also urged the residents to cover all food and water properly and encourage them to set traps in and around the house to reduce rat populations.
It stressed that infected patients should be isolated from contact with unprotected persons until the disease ran its course.
Residents were also advised to avoid contact with Lassa fever patients’ secretions and wear protective clothing, such as masks, gloves, gowns, and goggles, when caring for patients.

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