By Joy Odigie
Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo has ordered the immediate release of N100 million as first tranche payment for the procurement of equipment to fight Lassa fever.
Obaseki said the fund would be used to purchase four dialysis machines, ventilators, personal protective equipment, drugs and other consumables required for the treatment of Lassa fever patients.
This is contained in a statement made available to journalists on Thursday in Benin by Mr Crusoe Osagie, Special Adviser to the governor on Media and Communication Strategy.
According to the statement, the governor’s order followed report of the rising number of patients brought from across the country to the Institute of Lassa fever Research and Control, Irrua.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the institute is the only specialist facility for the treatment of the disease in Nigeria and the West Africa sub-region.
Obaseki directed the state Commissioner for Health, Dr David Osifo, to deliver the equipment within 24 hours and make them available for use at the hospital.
He also tasked Osagie and the Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Mr Paul Ohonbamu, to intensify Lassa fever awareness campaign across the state.
NAN reports that the Edo Government has reactivated its Rapid Response Team and commenced contact tracing for confirmed cases of the disease, as part of its proactive measures to curtail the spread of the disease in the state.
The state government is also working closely with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for case management and disease surveillance.
Edo and some other parts of the country are currently experiencing the outbreak of Lassa fever.
Some parts of the local government areas in Edo Central and Edo North senatorial districts are affected by the outbreak, while others are at risk of being infected. (NAN)