The National Complementary and Alternative Medical Association has advised governments to use the social media for wider sensitisation and mobilisation against the growing threat of Lassa fever.
Prof. Peter Katchy, the national president of the association, gave the advice in an interview with newsmen in Enugu on Sunday.
He said that the social media was already becoming a media of choice for news and information for most Nigerians because a growing number of people now have smart or android phones.
He said life-saving messages could be shared to friends and loved ones on the same social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Messanger, among others.
“Result-oriented awareness campaigns during outbreaks such as Lassa fever will encourage people with symptoms to seek immediate health care.
“The campaigns should use modern communication strategies and channels, especially the social media.
“While the language should be adapted to local language and culture of the people to be easily accepted,’’ he said.
Katchy also called for more awareness sensitisation on promotion of appropriate hygiene practices such as hand-washing with soap and running water.
According to him, safe preparation and storage of food at home and public places will further protect everyone against Lassa fever.
“Our people should be made to know the great benefits of environmental sanitation and proper deployment of rodenticides at the right time and quantity,’’ he said.
Statistics from the National Centre for Disease Control revealed that the country recorded 913 suspected cases of Lassa fever from the fresh outbreak.
The centre figure showed 73 deaths with the disease spreading to 17 out of the 36 states in the country.