Ebola: Nigerian govt conducts animal distribution survey

The Federal Ministry of Environment, has started a survey of the distribution of animals in Abuja, as part of measures to check the spread of Ebola virus.

The Minister of the Environment, Laurentia Mallam, stated this in a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja by her Press Secretary, Ben Goong.

She said the survey was part of the ministry’s environmental health control measures to curb the spread of the virus.

“We are focusing on fruit bats, which is numerous in many of our urban cities such as Abuja, Lagos, 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 on the implementation of a massive disinfestations of homes and public places infested with bats, rats and other pests.’’

Ms. Mallam said another area of concern in the spread of the virus was the management of healthcare wastes at various hospitals in the country.

She said in most cases, healthcare wastes were combined with 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 sources of spread of Ebola virus.”

The minister also commended the Federal Government for the ban on cross boundary movement of corpses, and stressed the need to protect health workers.

“Environmental officers working directly in areas of danger, and are responsible for sanitation at the quarantine centres, should be adequately equipped.

“We are also planning to provide on-the- spot screening facilities for house-to-house premises inspection by environmental health officers, ’’ Mallam said.


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