The Edo State Government has disclosed plans to build more facilities for Lassa Fever testing, as part of efforts to contain the epidemic in the state.

The Commissioner for Health, Prof. Obehi Akoria, disclosed this while briefing journalists after the weekly Edo State Executive Council (EXCO) meeting chaired by Governor Godwin Obaseki, at the Government House, in Benin City.

According to her, “We are hopeful that within the next couple of weeks, we will have two more facilities in addition to the already-existing one at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital.

“The government is working hard with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to create additional testing facilities in Edo North, specifically at the Edo State University, Uzairue.”

She continued: “On a more hopeful note, we wish to remind you that from the 22nd of April, our partners from America, under the auspices of the Association of Nigerian Physicians in America, will be here with us in Benin to provide free medical services.

“We have expanded the testing site to include the primary health care centre at Ugbekun and the one at Lucky Way in Iwokpan Primary Healthcare centre and our people are there to provide free medical services.

“We have also expanded our screening centres in Edo North Senatorial District, specifically the one at the Warrake and Jattu primary health care centres and at Edo Central at Ewohi and Ewohimi primary health care centres. Our colleagues there have offered to work throughout the weekend to see that we screen as many people as possible before the mission begins.”

“The state government has committed to funding the testing of all those who need to get testing done before surgery. We are hoping that our people will take advantage of these open doors and get the best of health care,” the commissioner added.

Also, the Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Mr. Jonathan Lawani, said that the government has opened applications for the concession of forests to qualified persons with adequate plans for regeneration.

He said, “We have started reviewing the entire process to assign concessions to those who are qualified. Part of the updated requirement is to ensure that there is an adequate plan for regeneration.

“We will not allow continuous illegal exploration of our forest without any plans to regenerate our forest. The trees have both economic and health benefits to us. Our plan is to make sure that every applicant is qualified and committed to the regeneration of our forest.”