The Federal Ministry of Environment has commenced a survey to map out the distribution of bats, monkeys, gorillas and antelopes in urban areas as a measure to keep the environment clean and check the spread of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the country.
This was information was contained in a statement issued by the ministry of environment in Abuja as part of the strategy adopted to check the spread of the virus and keep the nation clean.
Mrs Lawrentia Mallan said that it was important to control the various animals associated with the spread of the disease, especially fruit bats, commonly found in urban cities such as Abuja, Lagos, Kaduna, and Enugu among others.
She said the survey has started in Abuja where a substantial population of fruit bats was found in Wuse area 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,” she said, adding that the environmental health management and control programme put in place by the ministry were meant to control spread of EVD.
Mallam noted that another great area of concern was the management of our healthcare wastes at various hospitals in the country which are usually combined with other municipal wastes and disposed at open dumps indiscriminately.
“Even where their exposure remains hazardous and perilous, the menace of scavengers in healthcare waste is indeed harmful and potential source of Ebola virus disease,” she said.
She stated that the ministry was also in touch with the states for the implementation of massive disinfestations of homes, offices, hospitals, hotels and public places infested with bats, rats and other pests.
While imploring all Nigerians to avoid overcrowding, especially in public places, homes, business areas or social gatherings, she noted that environmental sanitation and hygiene were necessary ingredients for human development.
“We should curiously ensure adequate ventilation at our homes, places of business and anywhere people are gathered so as to reduce possible infection,” she said