The Federal Government said on Tuesday that it has started a survey of areas of the country with high populations of animals, especially fruit bats regarded as hosts to the Ebola Virus. Laurentia Mallam, Minister of the Environment, said this is with a view to controlling the animals in a bid to halt the spread of the virus.
“The control of animals implicated in the spread of this disease, especially fruit bats, which are so numerous in many of our urban cities such as Abuja, Lagos, Kaduna, 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 for the implementation of massive disinfestations of homes, offices, hospitals, hotels and indeed public places infested with bats, rats and other pests,” Mallam said.
The Minister also indicated that the management of Nigeria’s healthcare waste by hospitals across the country is also being looked into as this also constituted avenue through which Ebola virus could be spread.
“In most cases and in many places, healthcare waste is combined with other municipal waste and indiscriminately disposed at open dumps. The exposure of waste scavengers to health care waste is deemed a source of Ebola virus disease.
“A very perturbing and critical area in the spread of Ebola virus disease 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,” said the Minister