The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, 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.
Idris, who made the call 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 micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses andparasites 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.
Speaking on the outbreak of Lassa fever in some parts of the country, the Commissioner urged Lagos residents to watch out for its signs and symptoms which typically occur within three 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, adding that late symptoms include bleeding from the eyes, ears and nose as well as mouth and rectum, eye swelling, swelling of the genitals and rashes all over the body that often contain blood; severe cases could progress to coma, shock and eventual death.
Idris enjoined Lagosians to prevent a spread by observing a high level of personal and environmental hygiene and 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 occupy an important position in the delivery of healthcare services to the people to be at alert and have a high index of suspicion for Lassa fever and other viral hemorrhagic.
“Health workers should report any suspected case to the Primary Health Department of in their various Local Government/Local Council Development Areas or the Ministry of Health; observe universal safety precautions when attending to all patients and wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when attending to suspected/confirmed cases,” he advised.