Lassa Fever: Health Workers Begin Search For Rats In Lagos’s Markets

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In order to forestall the outbreak of Lassa fever in Lagos, the Environmental Health Officers Association of Nigeria (EHOAN), Lagos chapter, on Thursday, January 14, stated that there are plans to rid markets of rodents.

The disease has killed about 43 persons and affected 10 states including the Federal Capital Territory.

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.

He added that his association would partner with various markets and health officers in the state to ensure that success of the programme, News Agency of Nigeria reports.

Akingbehin said: “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.”

The EHOAH’s boss disclosed further that the association hoped to mobilize members to de-rat one market per local government per day urging traders to cooperate with officers during the exercise.

“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 explained.

Akingbehin pointed out that structures such as shanties, illegal structures, accumulated and misused articles which encouraged the breeding of rate will be removed.

He concluded by saying: “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.”

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