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Monday, August 29, 2016

Operation Kill Rats And Make Money In Lagos


a bid to avert incidences of Lassa Fever and
other vector-borne diseases in Lagos State, an
NGO, Phosguard Fumigant Ltd, in partnership with
the government, has introduced a bounty, ``Kill
rats, make money.’’
Under the project, rodents multiplying ubiquitously across
the mega-city state are to be exterminated from residential
places and markets using hi-tech chemicals and equipment
that will make their decomposing bodies non-infectious.
Mr Oluwasegun Benson, the Chief Executive Officer of the
company, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on
Sunday in Lagos that the bounty would help to de-rat the
state.
Vector-borne diseases are infections transmitted by the bite
of infected arthropod species, such as rats, mosquitoes,
ticks, triatomine bugs, sandflies and blackflies.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says Vector-borne
diseases account for more than 17 per cent of all infectious
diseases, causing more than 1 million deaths annually.
``As part of efforts to de-rat the state and prevent epidemic
from Lassa Fever and other diseases, a bounty has been
placed on rats in the state.
``We will buy off at least 20 rats for a yet-to-be determined
amount; in Lagos now it is operation kill rats and make
money.
``A rat has 28 days gestation period and in the past years,
there has not been any solid structure on ground to curb
them from infecting humans with diseases.
``We are already approaching an epidemic level which can
lead to a pandemic level with Lassa Fever and we must be
proactive and launch a more coordinated approach to
control them.
``It is war against rodents and pests in Lagos State,’’ he
said.
According to him, the company is also collaborating with
the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) to
either incinerate or bury the rats.
``Incineration is no longer in practice because of world
climate control, however, we can incinerate one ton of
waste at a time or bury.
``We bury with chemicals to ensure that the water from the
dead rats does not sip into ground water that people drink.
``Everything is going to be water-tight as we are not just
going to kill the rats, we are going to collect them using our
trained and well-kitted personnel,’’ Benson said.
Describing rats as destructive and hazardous to nature, the
company’s CEO added: ``We cannot completely eradicate
rodents, but we can control it to a minimal and tolerable
level.
``Although, the decomposing rats can also be important to
the ecosystem but not in urban areas, they are destructive
nature.
``Rats had caused fire in offices and homes by eating
electricity cables’’.
Benson said the project which would be launched in October
would be the first of its kind in the country.
He noted that with the cosmopolitan nature of Lagos, if
measures were not put in place to exterminate rats, it might
be difficult to control an outbreak of epidemics.
Benson commended Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode for
approving the Vector Control Programme which would start
with the markets and supporting it with a Toyota Hillux van.
He, however, expressed the hope that in two or three years
there would be a massive reduction in the demography of
rats in the state.
On employment generation, Benson said the project had the
capacity to create about 200 or 300 jobs, particularly for
youths.
NAN reports that Lagos State Government had in the wake
of outbreak of Lassa Fever in the country early in the year,
made efforts to curb the spread by killing the vector which
is rats.
More than 130 people were then suspected to have died
from the disease, according to statistics from the National
Centre for Disease Control.
The Lagos State Government on Jan. 22, confirmed the
death of one of the three cases of Lassa Fever.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris , said then that
the state had recorded 14 suspected cases of Lassa Fever
as at January 21.
The government then started de-rating of the state, an
exercise in which its environmental officers killed over
4,400 rats in six of the markets in Lagos metropolis.
The exercise was conducted at Onigongbo, Oshodi, Oke-
Odo, Ikotun Idanwo, Ojuwoye and Mile 12 Markets.
NAN reports that kill rats, make more money in Lagos
project, will strengthen the government’s effort to de-rat
and save the state of Lassa Fever and other vector-borne
diseases.
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