EU pledges N32m aid to fight Lassa fever

EU pledges N32m aid to fight Lassa fever

The European Union (EU) has announced the allocation of €80,000 (N32 million) in humanitarian funding to assist in Lassa fever eradication in Nigeria.

The fund will be used to assist families affected by the outbreak of the disease.

The EU fund is also expected to support the Nigerian Red Cross in promoting hygienic practices and disease transmission control.

The fund will contribute to the identification of suspected cases, support contact tracing and provide psychosocial support.

A statement by the Press Officer of Delegation of the EU to Nigeria, Modestus Chukwulaka, said those directly affected by the outbreak will benefit from the fund.

The statement added: “In the two most affected states, Ondo and Edo, the main actions will focus on health education on signs and symptoms, prevention measure and behavioural change in food storage and handling; pest control activities, such as the distribution of rat traps/rat glues and psychosocial support to affected people and their families.

“In another four states (Bauchi, Ebonyi, Taraba and Kano), awareness-raising initiatives will be launched for the general public, including the distribution of educational material and informative radio messages.”

Niger State on Thursday said it had not recorded any case of Lassa fever.

Addressing reporters in Minna, the state capital, Health Commissioner Dr Mohammed Sidi said: “We have put our people in the 25 local government areas on the alert. We have sensitised them on personal and environmental hygiene.

“We purchased 500 dozens of medicine for the treatment of the disease and another 200 dozens for preventive measures.”

Also on Thursday, some businessmen said the outbreak of Coronavirus in China in January had grounded their businesses.

The traders, who import products from China, says in Abuja that some of the goods they had paid for were yet to be delivered.

This is as the Director-General of Lagos State Office of Education Quality Assurance (OEQA), Mrs Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, restated the importance of hygiene in schools and homes to prevent the outbreak of Coronavirus.

She said nothing beats regular handwashing with running water and soap; use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers; keeping fingers away from the nose, eyes and mouth, among others.