Lassa Fever EHORECON starts sensitisation visit to area councils in FCT

"This is why we have come to see if there is any area we can collaborate to assist their activities. We are also ready to help people in the community to ensure that they get more information about how to live in a clean environment," he said.

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Lassa Fever Patient escapes from hospital in Ebonyi state (not pictured) play

Lassa Fever Patient escapes from hospital in Ebonyi state (not pictured)

(Ben Television)
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The Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria (EHORECON) on Monday started its sensitisation visit to the six area councils in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). EHORECON`s Registrar, Mr Dominic Abonyi, who led the team, said in Abuja that the aim of the visit was to engender cleanliness among the residents of the territory.

Abonyi said the team's overall goal was to prevent the spread of Lassa fever and other diseases in the six area councils. He said the council had visited two area councils, namely Bwari and AMAC, stressing that the team would carry its campaign to the four remaining area councils before the end of this week.

"The council wants to find out the strength, plan, progress and efforts they have made so far in the fight against Lassa fever and other deadly diseases. We want to let them know that we are concerned about their welfare and we want assist them.

"This is why we have come to see if there is any area we can collaborate to assist their activities. We are also ready to help people in the community to ensure that they get more information about how to live in a clean environment," he said.

He said that another purpose of the visit was look into complaints about the negligence of sanitary inspectors in the delivery of their duties. "We noticed that the sanitary inspectors are no longer doing what they ought to do. So, we decided to go out without informing them to check what is actually happening in the system.

"But from the look of things it seems that sanitary inspectors in the local government are very few, the numbers are very low. In Bwari area council, there are about four or six in number while in Abuja Municipal Area Council they are not even up to 20 in number.

"So if we cannot get it right in Abuja, the capital city, there is no way we can prove it statistically. In other words, the visit is intended to prove that there are environmental health officers in Nigeria but with inadequate number, the capacity is low compare to the job," he said.

Responding, Mr Haruna Labaran, Head of Environment Department, Bwarri Area Council, said the department was making every effort to ensure that the communities are aware of the outbreak of bird flu and Lassa fever.

Labaran said that the department had printed hand bills for distribution to the communities as part of efforts to advise the people on how to live in a clean environment. He appealed to EHORECON officials to continue with its stride to ensure cleanliness in the society, noting that such effort would promote environmental health in the FCT.

Also, Hajiya Maimunatu Abubakar, Head of Department in AMAC, expressed hope that the visit would impact a huge transformation in the environmental health department. Abubakar said that the department was faced with the challenge of inadequate man power, adding that the department needed more hands to support in the delivery of duties.

"We are going to meet all the heads of the local government areas and make sure that the communities come out to listen to what they can do to keep their environment clean," she said.

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