In Lagos Health officers comb markets for Lassa fever

"All these are serious problems and the professional bodies have decided to target all these places so enumerated on daily basis,’’ said the official.

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Health officers comb Lagos markets for Lassa fever play

Health officers comb Lagos markets for Lassa fever

(Vanguard)
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The Environmental Health Officers Association of Nigeria (EHOAN), Lagos state branch, on Thursday said that plans were underway to rid markets in the state of rodents, to forestall the spread of Lassa fever.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the disease, which affected 10 states and the FCT, Abuja, had so far claimed 43 lives.

EHOAN’s Chairman, Mr Samuel Akingbehin, told NAN in Lagos that the exercise, based on one local government or council development area markets per day, would start on Jan. 16.

According to the official, Lassa fever has the Mastomy rats as vectors.

He said that the association was collaborating with security agencies, executive members of the various markets and all the health officers in the state to ensure its effectiveness.

"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 of our society that one of the heaviest average of rodents in their various species like rats and the specie spreading Lassa fever, we decided to take the fight where they are heavily populated.

"We have them in markets, schools, hospitals and individual homes.

"All these are serious problems and the professional bodies have decided to target all these places so enumerated on daily basis,’’ said the official.

He said that the association had scheduled and organised themselves to de-rat one market per local government per day.
Akingbehin urged traders at the markets to be visited by members of the association to cooperate with the officers.

According to him, the exercise will begin from 5 p.m. daily at the various markets.

"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 disposing.

"Letters have been given out to all market leaders for prior notice to get adequate access into the market environment.

"We are doing this to solicit for their support and adequate access into their market environment and cooperation,’’ he explained.

He said 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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