Enugu govt engages media to end meningitis, Lassa fever

THE Enugu State Government has begun sensitisation of people on the need for prevention of Cerebro Spinal Meningitis (CSM) and Lassa fever through mass media approach.

The State Director of Public Health, Dr Okechukwu Ossai, who disclosed this in Enugu at the weekend, said the jingles were currently running on the state-owned radio and television stations.

According to him, the National  Primary Health Care Development Agency recently indicated that the country needed about 1.1 billion dollars for the vaccination of 22 million people in the states affected by the type “C’’ meningitis.

The agency, which he said had started CSM immunisation in the five most affected states in the country,  each typed `C’ CSM vaccine cost between 30 dollars and $50 dollars, adding that the vaccine was expensive and scarce.

Ossai said that the state government was making arrangement to extend the jingles to health-friendly media organisations operating in the state.

“We are leaving no stone unturned, as we have engaged our people through radio and television jingles.

“The current and running jingles, which I am sure is penetrating the residents of the state, stresses the need for personal and family hygiene.

“It also stresses the need for homes to have adequate ventilation especially the vital cross ventilation between windows.

“As well, the need for our people to sleep under insecticide treated nets to open their windows for air.

“For them not to engage in self-medication but go to hospital or seek the services of a medical expert for illnesses,’’ he said.

He said that the state ministry of health had adopted proactive measures through increased surveillance by placing diseases surveillance officers in the 17 local government areas of the state on red alert.

According to him, the ministry had deployed 86 disease-surveillance-focal persons to the 17 council areas to boost disease surveillance and rapid report to government.

Ossai, who also doubles as the state’s Chief Disease Surveillance Officer, said that the ministry was currently partnering the Nigerian Medical Association on the need for its members to report any strange illness or suspected case of CSM or Lassa fever.

“The National Primary Health Care Development Agency in the country needed about 1.1 billion dollars for the vaccination of 22 million people in the states affected by the type “C’’ meningitis.

He noted that the  agency, had started CSM immunisation in the five most affected states in the country, adding that each type `C’ CSM vaccine cost between 30 dollars and $50 dollars while the vaccine was expensive and scarce.

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