As part of efforts to combat the Lassa Fever in Edo, the State Ministry of Health on Monday embarked on a sensitisation campaign in communities affected by the epidemic.

The sensitisation campaign with its theme: "Kick out Lassa fever in Edo’’ was organised by the ministry, National Planning, Healthcare Development Agency and Edo State Disease Control and Management.

The Director, Edo State Disease Control and Management, Dr Osamwonyi Irowa, said the sensitisation/enlightenment campaign was meant to create awareness on the deadly disease in the state.

Irowa said Etsako West had been the worst hit area by the Lassa fever virus, adding that this informed the decision of the ministry to centre its campaign around the area.

"We are here in Etsako West to intensify our campaign against Lassa fever because Etsako West Local Government has high record of the cases in Edo.

"The sensitisation campaign becomes imperative so as to educate the people on the danger of Lassa fever and to get the prevention message to them at the grassroots,’’ he said.

He advised communities to improve on their hygiene level and protect their foods from the excreta and urine of rodents, particularly the 'Natal Multimammate' mouse.

The director said the `Natal Multimammate’ specie of mouse was found to be the natural host of the Lassa fever virus.

He cautioned people against bush burning and spreading `Garri’ outside, adding that this was common with the people living in the rural areas.

"We advise people living in this community to report any case of the above symptoms or persistent high fever not responding to standard treatment for malaria and typhoid fever.

"The report should be made to the ministry of health and the nearest health centre closer to them,’’ he said.