• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

Lagos intensifies fight against Lassa fever

Lassa-fever-rat

As the nation grapples with the challenge of containing the deadly Lassa fever viral disease, the Lagos State government is working on deployment of health/sanitary officers to residences and neighbourhoods to ensure the cleanliness of the environments.

Rodents, the carriers of the virus, breed well in dirty environments from where they do find their way into homes where they transmit the disease to humans through contact with their urine and droppings. The virus also spreads through eating food contaminated with materials that had contacts the rodents.

Meanwhile, Lagos State chapter of Environmental Health Officers Association of Nigeria (EHOAN) has strongly advised residents to bury dead rats to avoid the continued spread of infectious disease, which has killed over 70 persons in the country since it broke out in some state including Lagos, early this month.

BusinessDay gathered that the sanitary officers were being assembled and sensitised in preparatory to their deployment.

Babatunde Adejare, the commissioner for the environment, on Monday, issued what the government termed final zero tolerance warning on illegal street trading and hawking in the state. Adejare said the warning became very urgent because hawkers have been found to contribute to further dirtying the environment.

Aside this, he said street traders were also engaging in criminal activities of armed robbery, child abuse, destitution, compounding the traffic gridlocks and vandalising valuable infrastructure put in place with tax payer’s money.

Samuel Akingbehin, president of EHOAN, urged the people to avoid throwing dead rats on the streets to prevent vehicles running over them, and ensure they wear protective hand gloves to avoid contact with the rodents.

“We have noticed that most streets are now littered with dead rats. “We strongly advise that people who ‘’de-rat’’ their homes should ensure they wear gloves while handling the rats. The dead rats should also be buried and not burnt to avoid pollution in the air and the surroundings, because burning of waste are illegal and we strongly discourage burning of dead rats,” he said.