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Doctors educate market women on lassa fever in Osun

By Olawale Adewale, The Nigerian Voice, Osogbo 
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Members of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Osun State Chapter today visited major markets in Osogbo, capital of Osun State on awareness tour to enlighten market women on lassa fever and its symptoms.

The NMA Chairman, Dr Tokunbo Olajumoke told the market women that the outbreak of lassa fever in Ondo state was a delicate signal for the people of Osun state and urged the traders to be careful with rats on the raw food stuff.

The markets visited by the doctors include Akindeko and Olu-Ode markets. Olajumoke said the sensitization was aimed at educating the traders on the existence of lassa fever, the symptoms of the fever and the appropriate steps to take in case such symptoms are noticed.

According to him, "We came to the markets to talk to people on lassa fever which has been ravaging most of the state in Nigeria. As we are all aware, the vector (rats) are very close to the people in the market and when they (rats) touch what they (traders) sell, the buyers who consume the food would be infected."

"It is very paramount to sensitize the traders on this and that's why we embarked on this awareness tour to major markets in Osogbo and we are talking to the people in the local language and in a manner that they can understand and get the message so that we can prevent lassa fever rather than waiting to treat people when infected."

"As you are aware, lassa fever is already ravaging Ondo state which is very close to Osun and there have been reported cases of lassa fever in Osun. We have recorded a death in Osun as a result of lassa fever at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital in Osun here and it was confirmed. Also, 40 people are currently quarantined at isolated centers and they are under close examination to determine if they have been infected. We realised that prevention is better than cure and that was why we came out to sensitize traders today," Olajumoke said.