Lassa Fever: Lagos cracks down on rats
At the official flag-off of the Lagos State Market Deracination Programme, the Commissioner for Environment, Dr Babatunde Adejare said that the Lagos State Government will not relent in its effort at making the state the safest place to live in by providing a safe environment, aimed at ridding the state of the Lassa fever vector at Obalende market on Thursday.
The government is collaborating with Phosguard Fumigants, an NGO, to promote the programme through “Kill rats, make more money in Lagos”, and under the programme, the residents are encouraged to kill rats in their environs which the programme implementers, Phosguard will buy at a yet-to-be determined price for proper disposal. The commissioner also said the government was resolved to make Lagos State one of the safest places in spite of its increasing population, and “As a bourgeoning global urban agglomeration with a population of over 22m people and daily waste generation of 13,000 metric tons, Lagos requires proactive environmental management to control pest and by extension diseases. “Lagos is a mega city with the highest population which is still growing though in terms of landmass it is the smallest state in the country. “According to a UN report, our nation still ranks among the countries with the highest number of infant mortality, hence we need to look inward to know how we can control this, and “In lieu of this, we are looking at how we can free Lagos from diseases, pestilence and infestations. We talk about mosquito control, pest control and other dangerous animals in our society. “The administration of Gov. Akinwumi Ambode is committed to ensuring that we have the safest place to live in not minding anywhere we are in Lagos.” Adejare said that to provide a safe environment for the people, vector control remains the ideal strategy, and “The mega structure of the state has, however, provided the opportunity for transmission of pathogens between animal species and humans which are heightened by the unprecedented increase in the movement of people. “No doubt, the alluring feature of our state exposes it to a number of threats that if unchecked can spell doom for the well-being of the residents in general. “The environmental and health hazards that vectors present to our people can therefore not be ignored. Therefore, to protect the population from epidemics, such as Lassa fever, vector control remains the way out, and “Vector control is a means of eradicating mammals, birds and other arthropods collectively called vectors which transmit disease pathogens.”