Ebola: FG places Abuja, Lagos, Enugu under watch

By on August 18, 2014

• To commence nationwide disinfestation of homes, offices, hospitals, hotels

The Federal Govern­ment has identified Lagos, Kaduna, Enugu, Abuja and several others as flashpoint states and cities where the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) might take serious tolls, unless animals impli­cated in the spread of the disease are brought under control.

Minister of Environment, Mrs Laurencia Mallam, who made this known in Abuja yesterday, said the presence of fruit bats, which were many in the listed urban cit­ies, posed serious threats to Federal Government’s efforts at controlling the spread.

“A very perturbing and critical area in the spread of EVD 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.

“The control of animals implicated in the spread of this disease, especially fruit bats, which are so numer­ous in many parts of urban cities, such as Abuja, Lagos, Kaduna, Enugu, to mention but a few, is now our major concern,” the minister said.

To that effect, the min­ister said her ministry had commenced survey of the distribution of the harm­ful animals in Abuja, where they had found a substantial population in Wuse area, the Three Arms Zone and some areas of Maitama and Kub­wa districts.

“We have equally com­menced a similar survey in other states and towns in or­der that we may implement a comprehensive exercise.

“We are in touch with the various states of the federa­tion for the implementation of a massive disinfection of homes, offices, hospitals, ho­tels and indeed public places infested with bats, rats and other pets,” she said.

Expressing concern over the poor management of healthcare wastes in various hospitals across the country, Mallam said the issue re­mained a great challenge to the government.

Her words: “Another area of great concern is in the management of our health­care wastes at various hos­pitals in the country. 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 is indeed harmful and a po­tential source of EVD.”

About EKELEME JUDITH OLUCHI

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