Commissioner for Health in Lagos State, Dr. Jide Idris has called on members of the public to support the Government in its efforts to reduce the spread of communicable diseases in the State.
According to a press statement signed by Adeola Salako, Director, Public Affairs, Idris who spoke in his office at the Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja recently, advised Lagosians to imbibe the habit of maintaining both personal and environmental hygiene to keep communicable diseases caused by microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites at bay.
He disclosed that the State Government is leaving no stone unturned in improving the health of the people through huge investments in the sector adding that adherence to basic healthy habits such as regular hand washing with clean running water and soap, keeping hygienic environment by disposing wastes appropriately, hygienic storage of food, adequate and proper cooking of food before consumption will go a long way in checking the spread of infectious diseases.
In view of the outbreak of Lassa fever in some parts of the country, Idris urged the residents to watch out for the signs and symptoms of Lassa fever which typically according to him, occur within 1-3 weeks after the patient comes into contact with the virus.
He listed early symptoms of the disease to include fever, headache, chills, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, sore throat, backache, and joint pains. He added that late symptoms include bleeding from the eyes, ears and nose, bleeding from the mouth and rectum, eye swelling, swelling of the genitals and rashes all over the body that often contain blood. “This could progress to coma, shock and death,” he remarked.
To prevent the spread of the disease, he enjoined Lagosians to observe a high level of personal and environmental hygiene by avoiding contacts with rats, ensuring proper collection and disposal of waste, covering all foods (including left-overs) and water properly as well as washing hands properly before and after cooking of foods, blocking all rat hideouts and storing food items in rodent-proof containers.
He also advised health workers who he said occupy important position in the delivery of healthcare services to the people to be at alert and have high index of suspicion for Lassa fever and other viral hemorrhagic.
“Health workers should report any suspected case to the Primary Health Department of LGAs or the Ministry of Health, observe universal safety precautions when attending to all patients and wear appropriate PPEs when attending to suspected/confirmed cases,” he advised.