From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin

A professor of Medical Microbiology, Sunday Olowo Samuel has canvased for strict implementation of infection prevention and control strategies to mitigate the spread and impact of infectious diseases in the country.

Prof. Olowo Samuel made the call in Ekpoma, Esan West Local Government Area o f Edo State, while delivering the 98th Inaugural Lecture of the Ambrose Alli University, (AAU), Ekpoma, titled; “ Infectious Diseases of Man: Unravelling the Unseen Enemy and Mitigating Avoidable Catastrophe”.

The medical doctor said government and all levels of healthcare providers must implement the infection prevention and control strategies to abate resistant pathogens, stressing that hand hygiene must be the culture of all.

He stressed that Safe water, good sanitation and hygiene (WASH) must be ensured at all levels of the community, just as education of the public on principles of infection control and prudent use of antibiotics must be done.

He similarly recommended that Diagnostic Microbiology Laboratory be strengthened and made part of the health care delivery, as it would enable the laboratory facilities to provide data on the causes of infections in the localities and prevailing susceptibility patterns.

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The medical expert also called for the implementation of the Antimicrobial Stewardship in all health care facilities for rational antibiotic use, to mitigate against the development and spread of resistant organisms.

Speaking further, he said “there is need for more research in areas of antimicrobial resistance, infection control and development of new drugs; hence government and non-governmental organizations should sponsor researches” he stated.

The Acting Vice Chancellor of the Ambrose Alli University, Prof. Sonnie Adagboyin described the  topic of the inaugural lecture as timely, in the face of the current outbreak of Lassa Fever in the country, as well as the recent COVID-19 Pandemic that rattled the entre world.

“Recently, the novel COVID-19 with its varied symptoms rattled the entire world, even the development world, and a lot of infected persons, including healthcare workers, died from the pandemic.

“As we speak, there is an outbreak of Lassa fever in the country, which requires the urgent attention of all, and which makes this inaugural lecture quite timely”, Adagboyin stated.

Caption: Prof. Olowo having a hand shake at the event