We give great kudos to the State Government of Osun and in particular the arrow-heads: the Commissioner of Health, Dr Rafiu Isamotu and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Heath, Pharmacist Olasiji Olamiju, for the determined response to the threat of Lassa. It is due to their formidable resolution and the State Government’s effective deployment of the media that State of Osun has been spared the panic as well as the mass disorientation seen elsewhere.
Mercifully, they are not resting on their oars. Imaginative grassroots campaigning has helped. A few days ago Dr Olamiju creatively led a sensitisation team to a major market in Osogbo, the state capital. We recommend this approach to other states.
Outlining benefits of the initiative, Dr Olamiju stated that, ‘’ As we are all aware, rats are very close to the people in the market and when rats touch what the traders sell, the buyers who consume such contaminated food items would be infected. It is very paramount to sensitise the traders on this danger and that is why we have taken it upon ourselves to embark on this awareness tour to this Tuesday market in Osogbo”. We are sensitising them in the local language and in a manner that they can easily understand and relate to, which is why we have the Iyaloja of this market with us. “As you are equally aware, two cases have been confirmed and I urge all citizens not to panic because we are on right top of the situation and every necessary measure has been put in place to contain and curtail the spread.
“We realised that prevention is better than cure and that is why we came out to sensitise traders today,’’ Olamiju said.
In the long-term, the government must be proactive by following the weather patterns and intensify environmental sanitization efforts for the next season. In the meantime, against all odds, the response has been laudable.
Applause for the Federal Government
As a medium that was founded to put the people first, we cannot but give plaudits to the Federal Government for raising the allowances of those involved in the National Youth Service Corps Scheme [NYSC] to N33,000 a month.
This is a sensible recognition of the valiant services rendered often under difficult conditions by our young people. We also appreciate that the increment is taking place in a tight fiscal landscape. Patriotism is enforced when people believe that their government cares about them. This is what makes people voluntarily die for their country.
A lot still needs to be done. The issue of youth unemployment must be strategically tacked. Efforts must be intensified to provide startup capital for young entrepreneurs and continuous skills upgrade. Nevertheless, this is a positive step in the right direction.