The Ondo State Ministry of Health has begun sensitisation of health workers on the need to be proactive against possible outbreak of cerebro-spinal meningitis.
Addressing health workers on Wednesday at the state Specialist Hospital, Akure, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Tayo Oni, said it was sensitising its personnel on how to handle the infectious disease.
Oni said that this was one of the measures taken by the state to protect its health workers as they were at risk.
He said that the sensitisation programme would be replicated in other hospitals, departments, units and the state Ministry of Health.
The permanent secretary charged workers to be alive to their duties and pass the information received to their patients and neighbours.
“Government will do all that is possible to prevent the outbreak of meningitis and nip it in the bud if it gets to the state,” he said.
Also speaking, Dr. Ola Obaado, the Director, Public Health Department, gave a comprehensive overview of Cerebrospinal Meningitis, its symptoms, prevention and treatment.
Obaado said the sensitisation was coming on the nick of time to protect health workers from the risk of infection, provoke a high level of suspicion and promptness in its nipping in the bud if there was outbreak.
He noted that Nigeria lies in the Meningitis belt with a prevalence of the Neisseria Meningitides type C of the epidemic which could either be caused by virus or bacterial infection.
According to him, the rate is increasing and the death toll is rising by the day while admonishing that everything should be done to prevent its outbreak in the state.
He, therefore, appealed to residents to avoid overcrowded rooms, filthy environment, sharing of drinking utensils, spitting anyhow and anywhere, handshake, hugging, kissing among others.
Mrs. Modupe Ogunbiyi, the Head of Ondo State Public Health Laboratory, took a lecture on Best Laboratory Practices and how Cerebrospinal Meningitis sample should be taken and processed for accurate result.
According to her, the success of the fight against the epidemic depended heavily on the effectiveness of the laboratory.
Dr Moses Adewole and Dr Fausat Aragbaye, who responded on behalf of the personnel, expressed their resolves to be committed to duty but appealed to the government to provide the wherewithal to perform the onerous task before them.(NAN)