Ebola: Embrace Healthy Habit, Govt Urges Lagosians
Lagos State Government has urged residents of the state to desist from environmental pollution in order to assist in the fight against the Ebola virus.
The government said such habits as defecating and urinating in the public must be done away with for a proper environmental hygiene standard, as a way of curbing the spread of the virus.
The Commissioner for the Environment, Tunji Bello, said this at a one-day programme organised by the Ministry of the Environment for environmental health officials in all the 57 councils and scientific officers in the state civil service.
Bello explained that the training, with the theme, ‘Creating an army of advocacy to curb Ebola virus through effective enlightenment at the grassroots’, was part of series of actions the government embarked upon to control Ebola in the state.
He said, “After this event, we expect our army of trained officials to embark on mass public enlightenment campaigns to markets, motor parks and schools in all the councils to create awareness on how to prevent the spread of the dreaded disease.
“Lagos is home to about 21 million inhabitants. The government needs the support of the health workers who are professionally trained and scientific officers to act as health and environmental police to assist in maintaining hygienic environmental standards across the state.”
Bello urged Lagosians to cooperate with the government to contain the spread of the Ebola virus in the state.
The commissioner urged residents to embark on preventive measures such as washing of hands, strict personal hygiene, proper sanitation and proper waste disposal, among others, to rid the state of the virus.
He added, “Avoid bush meat. Bush meat is a potential carrier of Ebola virus. Desist from discharging faecal effluent into the drain or adjoining grounds. The message to Lagosians is that henceforth, we should embrace strict personal hygiene. We should extend the message to other members of the public, our families, friends and colleagues. If they are safe, we are safe; if they are not, we are not.”
One of the speakers at the event, Dr. Enigbonkan Olubunmi, advised that basic sanitary hygiene could help to prevent the spread of the disease, adding that Ebola was spread through sweat, saliva and blood.
Another speaker, Mr. Awosika Toyin, said environmental health and scientific officials must adopt the use of simple language in educating the people about Ebola.
“Where necessary, you should communicate in local languages,” she added.