The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has donated three ambulances, Lassa fever protective kits and drugs to support the Ondo Government in its efforts to check the menace of Lassa fever in the state.
The items were presented to officials of the state government by the NDDC Ondo State Coordinator, Hon Lucky Aiyedatiwa, on behalf of the Commission’s Acting Managing Director, Prof Nelson Brambaifa.
Aiyedatiwa, who was accompanied by the NDDC Director of Education, Health and Social Services, Mr Okejoto Gochua, said the interventionist agency had a duty to ensure that the people were healthy to benefit from its development projects and programmes.
The medical and safety equipment, consumables and drugs were received by the Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro at the Governor’s Office in the State Secretariat, Akure.
The NDDC Ondo State Coordinator said that the donation was part of the Commission’s intervention to specifically stamp out Lassa fever from Ondo State and generally help to provide healthcare facilities for the wellbeing of the people.
Hon Aiyedatiwa said that the NDDC was in addition to supporting the government and people of Ondo State with the donations, conducting sensitisation and advocacy programmes against the deadly disease.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Adegbenro, praised the management of NDDC for its intervention programmes in the state, noting that the Commission was supporting the state in its time of need. He observed that for some time now, Lassa fever had become an endemic disease in Ondo State.
Dr Adegbenro said that the ambulances and medical consumables would go a long way in supporting the government to treat the Lassa fever patients. He said the intervention came at the right time, especially as the cost of treatment was very high.
According to the commissioner, “It is quite expensive to treat the patients who are down with Lassa fever. On the average, it costs about N1.6 million to treat a single case of Lassa fever.”
The commissioner called on the public and healthcare practitioners, to take precautionary measures always while providing care to the people infected with the Lassa fever virus.
He said that the ambulances will help the state to take the fight against Lassa fever to the grassroots, adding that they would also help in ensuring quick responses to people in distress.
Dr Adegbenro said he was excited by the contributions of the NDDC because it was in line with the State Government’s policy thrust of making healthcare delivery accessible to all residents of the state.