Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra on Thursday urged people of the state to desist from eating rats as one of the safest ways to avoid Lassa fever currently ravaging some states. Obiano made the call while flagging-off the Second Phase of the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week/National Immunisation Plus Days at the Primary Healthcare Centre in Akpo, Aguata Local Government Area of the state.

According to him, the acute hunger in the land should not make people to eat rats whose contact with human food spread the deadly disease.

“Residents should please maintain high level of hygiene by washing their hands properly, block entry point for rats into their houses and stop burning of bushes that makes stranded rats run into people’s houses,” he said.

The governor also urged nursing mothers and caregivers in the state to avail their children from ages zero to 59 months the opportunity of getting immunised against polio and other child-killer diseases.

“This exercise is also being carried out in the hinterlands. So, I urge mothers and caregivers to come along with their children’s immunisation card,” Obiano said.

Earlier, State Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala, said the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week was aimed at delivering basic effective interventions to reduce child mortality and improving mother and child health.

Okpala said the week would feature antenatal care for expectant mothers and information on key practices such as exclusive breastfeeding, family planning, proper hand washing and immunisation.

“The week is also meant for children from zero to five years and will take place at all government primary healthcare centres, selected general hospitals, Mission Hospitals and other designated posts in the state,” he said.

The week is aimed at improving health status of women and children by increasing coverage of key maternal, newborn and child health interventions by 50 per cent of the current indices in 2020.

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