In a bid to forestall any outbreak of Lassa fever in the state, the Ekiti State Government has gone hard on violators of sanitation laws.
As a result, 23 persons were convicted and sentenced to jail terms ranging from one to three months imprisonment.
They were found guilty of dumping refuse in unauthorized places, refusing to participate in last Saturday’s sanitation exercise, obstructing sanitation officers from performing their duties and flouting other sanitation laws.
The Presiding Magistrate , Modupe Afeniforo , who handed down the jail sentences to the 23 offenders in Ado-Ekiti on Saturday, however, gave the convicted persons options of fines ranging from N1,000 to N2,000.
This state has also reconstituted the Emergency Outbreak Centre (EOC), which was put in place in the wake of the national outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever in January.
The government said the centre had been reactivated and placed on high alert in view of the recent development.
The Commissioner for Health, Olurotimi Ojo, who made this known in Ado-Ekiti during a meeting with stakeholders in the health sector said state government organized the forum with stakeholders to harmonize plans on how to improve surveillance, infection and prevention and control at the various health facilities in the state.
He said the steps were proactive to ensure fresh outbreak of Lassa Fever which reportedly claimed the life of a medical doctor in Asaba, Delta State, did not spread to Ekiti.
He said efforts were in top gear to also improve environmental sanitation and embark on massive public sensitization across the state on the need for people to embrace healthy practices and rid their environment of rats and other vectors of deadly diseases.
According o him, six subcommittees namely, case management, contact tracing , social mobilization, Infection Control, laboratory- evacuation -decontamination, and logistics have been set up to prevent and effectively tackle any suspected case of the disease in the state.
Mr. Ojo said in addition to the sub committees, treatment and isolation centres had been set up at the Federal Teaching Hospital Ido and the Oba Adejugbe General Hospital, Ado-Ekiti for isolation and treatment of suspected and confirmed cases of the disease.
The state’s Commissioner for Environment, Bisi Kolawole, while speaking on the monthly environmental sanitation, urged Ekiti residents to give the exercise the seriousness its deserves and stop dumping refuse in drainages and road medians in order to avert flooding and the spread of communicable diseases.
He also counselled them not to wait till the last Saturday of the month before cleaning their environment.