Benin health officials announced this week of three Lassa fever cases (2 confirmed, 1 probable) reported  in the municipality of Parakou in Borgou Department in the northern part of the country.

Benin map/CIA
Benin map/CIA

According to local press (computer translated),  the department head of the department of public health, Dr. Emmanuel Obolli Job said the cases all come from the village Taberou (Nigeria) located five (05) kilometers from tandou in the commune of Tchaourou.

Faced with this epidemiological situation, actions were carried out to inform the prefect of the department, local elected officials and officials of the health zones of Borgou.

Then, it is reported, the departmental health department carried out a rapid risk assessment at Balawal 2, the dissemination of awareness messages by radio stations to the attention of the population on hygiene measures, the development of a communication plan, the management of confirmed cases and probable in the Cte by 30 trained elites, the follow-up of the contacts of the two (02) confirmed cases, and finally, the routing of the samples of these cases at the National Laboratory for Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers in Cotonou.

Speaking of strategies to fight against the spread of the virus, Dr. Emmanuel Obolli Job has put a special emphasis on communication and information for the benefit of the population, mass communication (social mobilization, broadcast radio messages) permanently , sensitization of religious leaders and actors of civil society organizations.

He also said that, schools, high schools, markets, universities, bars and restaurants, the bus stations of the communes of Borgou, and especially, those border in Nigeria, will also be involved in the strategies to prevent the population.

Awareness door to door in the commune of Tchaourou, epidemiological surveillance and follow-up of contacts are, according to the doctor, potential to be considered to fight against the virus.

“There is no danger in the house in the department of Borgou. All steps are taken to contain the epidemic, “reassured the departmental director of health Dr. Imourou Karimou Yacoubou, adding that, hope is allowed against the viral haemorrhagic fever of Lassa, if the antiviral treatment begins early, through the administration of drugs, including ribaviril.