By Oluwafunke Ishola
Lagos – The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, has cautioned residents against paying heed to a fake audio message on the outbreak of gastroenteritis in the state.
Abayomi on Friday in Lagos said that the misleading and alarming misinformation were being circulated across various social media platforms by mischief makers with an intent to deliberately cause panic among the citizens.
“It has come to my attention that there is a voice recording that is being circulated and carrying fake news.
“It is disguised as from Ebute-Metta Health facility. It is a lady’s voice, and we are not sure where this message emanated from, but it is very misleading.
“Yes, there is an outbreak of gastroenteritis that is now under control as a result of the many policies and interventions put in place.
“We are on top of the situation.
“This circulating voice note is not correct, do not follow the recommendations that the voice note is trying to transmit to you,” he said.
He advised residents to be calm and listen only to original messages from the Ministry of Health, saying that it was the only accurate, precise and concise information about the situation.
The commissioner said that the state had been proactive in its response and management of the excess cases of vomiting and diarrhea caused by the outbreak.
“As part of our response, we have activated an emergency operation centre (EOC) which is a command and control centre so that we can fine tune logistics and resources around our response against the outbreak.
“As at today, 400 cases of gastroenteritis have been recorded in health facilities in the affected local government areas, 370 of these cases have been treated and discharged.
“Unfortunately, we have also recorded 11 deaths due to the outbreak.
“The increase in number of cases of gastroenteritis is not unconnected with persistent rain with flooding of some local government areas in the state,” he said.
According to him, Lagos is prone to seasonal infectious diseases like gastroenteritis because of its demography and low line megacity nature.
He, however, stressed that government would not relent in its response to any waterborne or airborne outbreaks that may happen in the state to ensure that citizens remain safe and healthy.
The commissioner said that it had evolved some measures and implementing specific action plans like upgrade of infrastructure in health facilities especially the Primary Health Centres; recruitment of more health workers.
Other measures include; increasing the supply of drugs and consumables to health facilities; continuous clearing of drains and improving the supply of clean and portable water to residents.
Abayomi said that the measures were to ensure its preparedness and effective response to address future climatic situation of excessive rainfalls.