Lassa fever: FCT agency to disinfect schools

The Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) says it is planning massive disinfection of FCT schools and markets, following the recent outbreak of Lassa fever in some states.

The Acting Director of the board, Dan-Mallam Nasiru, made this known in Abuja on Friday at a meeting with stakeholders in the education sector.

Nasiru was represented by Mr Simeon Ajueyitsi, the Deputy Director, Environmental Health and Safety Department of the board.

He said the plan was to ensure a clean environment for residents and to control the spread of different diseases within the FCT.

Nasiru, who regretted that open defecation, urination and waste disposal were still being practiced, called on schools in the FCT to adopt clean sanitary measures to protect students from being infected.

The director urged school operators to always employ the services of over 165 registered fumigators operating in the FCT, adding that only 25 chemicals had been currently approved for use by the board.

Nasiru warned school operators against the use of agro-allied chemicals in fumigation, adding that some of the chemicals could be injurious to human health.

He called on schools to also employ environmental officers in their various environments to promote hygiene among school populations.

“We will soon commence the de-ratting of FCT area councils, schools and markets. Holes on the walls and ceilings must be closed to avoid penetration of rats.

“School canteens should be fly proof and junks must be avoided.

“Schools should also introduce rodent and pest control measures on their own, and they must involve the services of approved fumigators in doing this so that banned chemicals will not be used.

“We do not want a situation where the schools will get unregistered fumigators and they will end up killing people instead of rats and other insects, “ he said.

Dr Onyinye Onuoha, medical personnel at the board, advised school proprietors to improve health education in schools to enable students have the basic knowledge about Lassa fever.

The medical personnel appealed to operators to always wash their hands as practiced during the outbreak of Ebola in schools to reduce the spread of Lassa fever.

Mrs Racheal Omenka, the Higher Environmental Health Officer in-charge of Schools, Markets and Abattoirs Sanitation, called on school operators to monitor and inspect public food vendors in and around their schools.

Mr Frank Diugwu, who represented the Pest and Vector Control Association in the FCT, said the association had skilled personnel who were trained on how to ensure safe fumigation of the environment.

Dr Catherine Ezeilo, the Director, Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB) in the FCT, commended the board for the meeting.

Ezeilo, represented by an official of UBEB, Mr Mohammed Bello, called for many methods of effective approach to cover more schools and the satellite towns in the FCT.

The FCT Secondary Education Board and other stakeholders in the education sector were also represented at the meeting. (NAN)

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