Medical doctors in Osun State under the auspices of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) on Monday went into major markets in Osogbo, capital of Osun State to sensitise traders on lassa fever.
The Chairman of NMA in the state, Dr Tokunbo Olajumoke who led the team of doctors to the Akindeko and Olu-Ode markets said the sensitization was aimed at educating the traders on the existence of lassa fever, the symptoms of the fever and the appropriate steps to take in case such symptoms are noticed.
Olajumoke told the traders that the outbreak of Lassa fever in Ondo state was a delicate signal for the people of Osun state and urged the traders to be careful with rats on the raw food stuff.
“The vectors (rats) are very close to the people in the market and when they (rats) touch what they (traders) sell, the buyers who consume the food would be infected.”
“It is very paramount to sensitize the traders on this and that’s why we embarked on this awareness tour to major markets in Osogbo and we are talking to the people in the local language and in a manner that they can understand and get the message so that we can prevent lassa fever rather than waiting to treat people when infected.
“As you are aware, lassa fever is already ravaging Ondo state which is very close to Osun and there have been reported cases of lassa fever in Osun. We have recorded a death in Osun as a result of lassa fever at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital in Osun here and it was confirmed. Also, 40 people are currently quarantined at isolated centers and they are under close examination to determine if they have been infected. We realised that prevention is better than cure and that was why we came out to sensitize traders today.
The leader of the market women at Akindeko market, Alhaja Sidikat Abidogun after listening to the doctors commended the NMA for the initiative and urges the doctors to intensify the campaign and cover more markets so that majority of the people would be aware of the scourge.