The Environmental Health Officers Association of Nigeria (EHOAN), Lagos chapter has embarked on a campaign to rid Lagos markets of rodents, especially rats, in order to forestall the outbreak of Lassa Fever in the state.
At least 43 people have died in 10 states including the Federal Capital Territory after getting infected with the deadly disease.
Samuel Akingbehin, the chairman of EHOAN told reporters that the exercise will commence on January 16 and one local government will be tackled per day.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted Akingbehin as also saying his association would partner with various markets and health officers in the state to ensure that success of the programme.
“The Lagos State professional health bodies have decided to tackle this Lassa fever because of its serious nature. As such, we have decided to take the fight to the markets, hospitals, schools and homes in the state. We know by inspection and evaluation that we have the rodents responsible for the disease in markets, schools, hospitals and homes. This is a serious problem and the professional bodies have decided to target all these places,” he said.
While urging traders at the markets to be visited by members of the association to cooperate with the officers, Akingbehin said the exercise will begin from 5 p.m. daily.
“We will go into the market in the evenings, de-rat the place and return in the early morning to pick up the dead rats for proper disposal. Letters have been given out to all market leaders to give us access to the markets,” he said.
He further explained that structures encouraging the breeding of rats such as shanties, illegal structures, accumulated and misused articles would be removed.
“The exercise will start with prominent markets such as Mile 12 Market in Kosofe LGA; Karo Market in Oshodi; Oke-Odo Market in Agbado Oke-Odo; Ikotun Market in Alimosho LGA. Others are Suru, Obanju and Ajeromi Markets; Agege Market, Agege LGA; Awolowo Market in Mushin; Okoko Market in Ojo LGA; Vespa Market in Oto- Awori LCDA; Sangrouse and Sura Markets in Lagos Island LGA; Obada Market in Obalende. Also included are Ishaga Market in Ifako-Ijaye LGA; Oyingbo Market in Mainland LGA; and Ayetoro Market in Epe LGA and others,’’ the official said.
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