NATIONAL Council of Muslim Youth Organizations, NACOMYO, Abuja has called on the people of Nasarawa state and Nigerians, to stay away from the consumption of rats to guard against contacting Lassa fever virus.
National president of the organization, Alhaji Kamaddin made the call at the weekend during one-day awareness campaign on Lassa fever organized by the Nasarawa state chapter of NACOMYO in Karu Local government area of the state.
He noted that the awareness campaign was timely considering the number of deaths and other cases recorded in some parts of the country as well as the effects of Lassa fever on human health and the socio-economic development of the country.
“We heard about reported cases of death and we even saw how some people contacted and died of Lassa fever not only in other parts of the country, but also in Nasarawa state. That is why I said Lassa fever awareness campaign in rural communities is timely”.
“That Lassa fever can be transmitted to human through contamination of broken skin via direct or indirect contact with infected rat excreta or urine on floors, home surfaces, in food or water and that transmission is also possible where rats are caught and consumed as food”.
“It is in view of this, I want to appeal to the people of Nasarawa state and others Nigerians to stay away from rat, stopping from eating or to avoid direct contact with rat, keep food in rat proof containers in the interest of our health and the health of our nation”.
He has also used the medium to call on wealthy individuals and organizations to assist the government through initiating people oriented programmes, adding that government alone cannot do everything for its citizens.
Earlier, NACOMYO, Salisu Musa-Akaki Nasarawa said the organizations deemed it necessary to organise the awareness campaign in order to educate the rural dwellers on what Lassa fever is, its transmission, prevention and treatment.
He has advised the residents to promptly report to the nearest hospital or health centre, any suspected case of Lassa fever for timely professional care in their interest and in the interest of the health of the country.
Responding, the Uehra-Sheh of Kube Chiefdom in Nasarawa state, Mr. Christopher Jatau commended the organizations for organizing the programme aimed at wiping out the disease in the state and called for its sustenance.
The monarch urged village heads and other community leaders to pass the message to their subjects and urged them not to eat and have direct contact with rat.

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