This was the consensus of participants at a one-day sensitisation meeting with farmers and other stakeholders on Lassa fever on Tuesday in Akure.
The meeting, which was organised by the department of Veterinary Disease and Pest Control of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, was declared open by the Ondo State Commissioner for Agriculture, Chief Adegboyega Adefarati.
Adefarati, who commended efforts of stakeholders to nib the scourge in the bud, called for more actions to eradicate the deadly disease because of its mortality rate.
He disclosed that the state government had instituted Emergency Preparedness and Response Committee under the chairmanship of Dr Wahab Adegbenro, the state Commissioner for Health.
“To underscore the seriousness the state government placed on curbing the spread of Lassa fever in the state, the governor has released fund to the ministry to ensure that the menacing disease is kicked out of the state.
“Apart from lending support to the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, to ensure that suspected and confirmed cases are well managed, the Veterinary Services Department of the state Ministry of Agriculture has been mandated to commence publicity and sensitisation on control of rats as part of measures to prevent the spread of the disease
“These actions are aimed at protecting none infested areas from rats proliferation in order to eradicate incidence and spread of Lassa and other rat- borne diseases in the state,” the commissioner" said.
While thanking the organisers for choosing the state as the venue of the meeting, Adegbenro said the choice was not a coincidence as Ondo ranked next to Edo as the most affected state in Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control recently declared the outbreak of Lassa fever an emergency in the country.
The Federal Government had set up a multi- partners and multi-sectoral Emergency Operations Centres (EOC) to coordinate responses at all levels.
Pursuant to the mandate of the EOC under the watch of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, the meeting was convened to sensitise critical stakeholders on the causes of the deadly disease and what must be done to avoid it.
The event, which was well attended by farmers and other stakeholders across the state, witnessed presentation of good will messages from critical sectors.