Kwara buckles up to tackle communicable diseases

The Kwara state government said it is prepared to tackle outbreak of diseases in the state by adopting proactive measures.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Raji Razaq,  stated this Thursday during inspection visits to the ongoing construction of the Disease Isolation Centre at Sobi Specialist Hospital, Ilorin, in preparation against any epidemic outbreak.

The commissioner said the preparedness comprised all the health activities that have to be undertaken from the state to local government areas and getting health facilities at all levels to be ready to respond effectively to any disease outbreaks.

Razaq said it is necessary to complete the centre which he explained is at 98 per cent completion in order to be ready for any epidemic outbreak that may occur.

He assured that in case of any outbreak, there is an alternative place  that can be used pending the full completion of the isolation centre.

The commissioner tasked the Rapid Response Team in the Ministry of Health to begin public awareness campaign on Lassa fever across the 16 local government areas of the state.

Razaq noted that this is in the preparation of the recent outbreaks of Lassa fever in some parts of the country which has claimed lives.

He also said  healthcare workers across the state would commence training and retraining on effective handling of outbreaks of epidemics.

 As part of the preparedness, the commissioner during the inspection distributed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to healthcare workers at the Disease Isolation Centre.

The PPE is equipment worn to minimise exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses which may result from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other workplace hazards.

The PPE included protective wears, gloves, boots and blood specimen collection and processing, among others, which is distributed to the centre in preparation against any epidemic outbreak.

Razaq noted that since inception of the present administration, they have been proactive in meeting the needs of the ministry of health.

The state Director Public Health, Dr Oluwatosin Fakayode, commended the state government for the foresight in constructing the Isolation Centre, which is the first of its kind in the North central region.

Fakayode appealed to the people of the state to report any suspected case of Lassa fever or outbreaks to the nearest health facility in the state so that the state government can take necessary and quick response.

The recent outbreaks of Lassa fever has so far claimed at least 16 lives in Ondo state and three deaths in Kano state with about 292 people on watch list, since its outbreak early in January. (NAN)

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