Ebola: ‘Lagos, Abuja have implicated animals’

By IAfrica
In Nigeria
Aug 19th, 2014
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The Federal Government has said that Lagos, Abuja and a few major cities across Nigeria are areas where animals implicated in the spread of the deadly Ebola virus are found in large numbers.

The government said it had started a survey to ascertain the distribution of these animals, especially the fruit bats, in the urban centres where they are found.

The Minister of Environment, Mrs. Laurentia Mallam, disclosed that the federal government was focusing on controlling the animals in a bid to halt the spread of the virus.

Mallam, in a statement made available to reporters in Abuja by the ministry’s Deputy Director Press, Bem Gong, said: “The control of animals implicated in the spread of this disease, especially fruit bats, which are so numerous in many of our urban cities such as Abuja, Lagos, Kaduna, Enugu, to mention but a few, is now our major focus.

“We have started a survey of their distribution in Abuja where we have found a substantial population in Wuse area, the Three Arms Zone and some areas of Maitama District and Kubwa. We have equally commenced a similar survey in other states and towns in order that we may implement a comprehensive exercise.

“We are also in touch with the various states of the federation for the implementation of massive disinfestations of homes, offices, hospitals, hotels and indeed public places infested with bats, rats and other pests.”

Mallam said another area of great concern is in the management of Nigeria’s healthcare wastes at various hospitals in the country.

She said: “In most cases and in many places, healthcare wastes are combined with other municipal wastes and disposed at open dumps indiscriminately. Even where their exposure remains hazardous and perilous, the menace of scavengers in healthcare wastes are indeed harmful and potential source of Ebola virus disease.

“A very perturbing and critical area in the spread of Ebola virus disease is through contact with fomites and personal articles of persons exposed to the disease. We honestly wish to encourage the disinfection of fomites and homes where the disease has occurred.”

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