The State of Osun Deputy Governor, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori on Wednesday flagged off the distribution of long lasting insecticidal nets with a call on households to ensure they sleep under the nets to eradicate malaria from the state.
The program tagged ‘Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) Replacement Campaign’, sponsored by the Society for Family Health (SFH) attracted international and local stakeholders in the health sector, who lauded Aregbesola-led administration for putting healthcare on the front burner.
L-R: CMD LAUTECH Hospital, Prof. Akeem Lasisi; State of Osun Deputy Governor, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori; Director of Program, Society for Family Health (SFH), Dr Jennifer Ayanti and Commissioner of Health, Dr Rafiu Isamontu sitting under Net at the flag off ceremony of Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets Replacement campaign at Nelson Mandela Freedom Park, Osogbo on Wednesday 6th September, 2017.
Zika, a virus transmitted mainly by Aedes Mosquitoes is currently ravaging South America with Brazil reporting the largest outbreak estimated at over one million infections.
As the virus spreads fast to parts of the world, World Health Organisation wants countries to take measures against its spread.
Reports have it that within South East Asia, sporadic cases of Zika have been detected in Cambodia, Indonesia, East Malaysia and Thailand.
What also appears worrisome is the link between Zika virus infection during pregnancy and brain malformation in the foetus as being witnessed now in Brazil.
Although, there was no case of Zika recorded yet in Nigeria, people were becoming apprehensive in view of recent outbreak of Lassa fever and measles in some parts of the country.
Are Nigerians aware of the scourge of Zika virus in other clime?
Head of Department, Virology, University of Ibadan, Professor David Olaleye explained that Zika has been detected in the department in years past and was actually isolated in Nigeria in 1975.
Professor Olaleye who noted that the mosquitoes that are vectors to the virus are also present in Nigeria called for precautionary measures.
The virologist urged people to do everything and anything possible to prevent mosquito bites and ensure that they live in clean environments.
Professor Olaleye also advised those who must visit areas where mosquitoes breed to protect themselves by using mosquito repellent and treated nets.
The World Health Organization on Monday declared the mosquito-borne Zika virus an international public health emergency due to its link to thousands of birth defects in Brazil.
WHO Director-General, Margaret Chan , told journalists that coordinated international action was needed to improve detection and expedite work on a vaccine and better diagnostics for the disease, but said curbs on travel or trade were not necessary.
Chan, whose agency was assailed as too slow in reacting to West Africa’s Ebola epidemic that killed more than 10,000 people in the past two years, cited “first and foremost the big concern about microcephaly,” the birth defect that causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads and improperly developed brains.
She noted that it was “strongly suspected but not yet scientifically proven” that Zika causes microcephaly, Reuters reported.