Edo State government yesterday approved plans to contain the Lassa fever scourge in the state and provide essential materials and equipment for health centres to respond to such emergency.
Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Paul Ohonbamu, stated this at the end of the weekly State Executive Council (SEC) meeting presided over by Governor Godwin Obaseki at the Government House, Benin.
He said the governor took proactive steps and met with stakeholders in the health sector and other sectors to reach a decision on how to bring succour to the patients and prevent further spread of the disease.
Ohonbamu said some of the proactive steps taken include provision of potable water at the Institute of Lassa Fever Research and Control, Irrua; provision of a dialysis machine at the hospital; provision of essential drugs and enhancement of the ongoing enlightenment campaign to prevent further spread of the disease.
He said the executive also approved the automation of revenue collection in the state by Edo Internal Revenue Service (EIRS), which will eliminate manual collection and all its concomitant challenges. He added that upon implementation, revenue collection will be done using automated method.
On security, he said the state had commenced purchase of equipment to boost security. The plan, he said was “towards the implementation of the new security architecture in the state for the protection of lives and property.
The Chairman-in-Council and the governor of the state, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, approved in the first phase, the purchase of 20 Hilux vans, 10 motorbikes and other logistic equipment to enhance the visibility of police and other security agencies in the state.”
Noting that the state was committed to providing clean, potable water to the people in rural communities, Ohonbamu said: “The executive council approved N600 million as counterpart fund by the state government to access N1.4 billion from the EU-UNICEF for the implementation of the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project in rural communities in the state.”
“The project will cover provision of clean water as well as toilets and other sanitation facilities in rural communities. This is also aimed at reducing open defecation, which is a menace in the rural areas,” he said.