The Delta state Ministry of Environment on Friday embarked on a sensitization campaign to educate Deltans on how to prevent Lassa Fever; an acute viral disease endemic in Nigeria.
The campaign, led by the Commissioner for Environment, Mr Chris Onogba, took officials of the Ministry through Nnebisi road to Ogbeogonogo market Asaba where the Commissioner addressed the traders on how to prevent the disease.
Mr Onogba said Lassa Fever could either be transmitted through contact with items contaminated with the urine, faeces, saliva or blood of infected rats or from person to person through contact with the blood, urine, faeces, saliva and other body fluids of an infected person.
He said since rats were the carriers of the virus, it was important to keep them away from homes.
This, the Commissioner explained, Deltans and other residents should do by keeping their environment clean at all times, practicing good personal hygiene and ensuring proper storage of food in rodent proof containers to avoid contamination by rats.
Mr Onogba spoke strongly against the practice of drying food items openly under the sun, describing it as dangerous because rats could feast, urinate and defecate on them without the owners knowing.
He urged residents to regularly fumigate their houses, cut overgrown weeds and dispose of refuse to reduce the risk of infection.
Mr Onogba advised healthcare providers to be vigilant and take standard care precautions, particularly wearing of hand gloves, using hand sanitizers and complete equipment sterilization when attending to patients in order not to put themselves at risk.
The Environment Commissioner said government would continue to partner with the Private Sector, particularly in the disposal of refuse, and appealed to people of Delta state to register with the Private Sector Participants to ensure a cleaner environment.