According to reports, the Ondo State Government on Thursday in Akure concluded the training of surveillance officers and informants to contain the spread of Lassa fever across the 18 local government areas of the state.
The 54 participants were trained, with three participants drawn from each of the local government areas.
Speaking at the occasion, Dr Taiye Oni, the Permanent Secretary, Ondo State Ministry of Health, said that it was necessary for the state government to build up the capacity of the trainees for effective service delivery.
Oni, who was represented by Dr Ayodele Adelusi, the Deputy Director of Public Health at the ministry, said Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu approved the training to combat any likely outbreak of lassa fever in any part of the state.
He said the trainees would function as Disease Notification Officers that would alert the appropriate authorities if there was any strange manifestation of illnesses in their respective areas.
“These are the people to let us know if there is any strange development or outbreak because we cannot be everywhere, every time.
“These are the people across the state and they are not for lassa fever alone, but other diseases as well,’’ he said.
According to him, everyone has to be on his/her toes not to allow the disease have its way in the state, adding that the trainees should use the opportunity of the training to the benefit of the state.
The permanent secretary noted that the trainees would also be responsible for sensitisation and proper orientation of residents at the grassroots.
Similarly, Dr Waheed Afolayan, the State Epidemiologist, said that the trainees were important, considering their vital role in enhancing healthcare delivery throughout the state.
Afolayan, who gave a comprehensive presentation and lecture, urged them to be extra careful, saying that there should be immediate reports of any disease to the designated clinic centres.
He admonished them to carry out community mobilisation, health education and sensitisation.
According to him, the trainees should have a good relationship with their assigned communities so that there could be a sense of trust and confidence in their activities.
The epidemiologist, however, urged the officials to protect themselves so that they would not turn out to be victims themselves.
One of the participants, Mr Adewale Agbede, said the training was timely, saying it was part of the build-up against the disease and its containment.
Another participant, Mrs Folashade Afolabi, said the training had enabled her to be an advocate for “Operation Do not Eat Rats’’ and that she would also use the opportunity to encourage regular hand-washing.