The Lagos State chapter of the Environmental Health Officers Association of Nigeria on Monday said it had killed no fewer than 7,243 rats in eight major markets in the state under its ‘De-rat Market’ programme.
This came as the state government called on the health officers to intensify safety awareness campaigns across the state.
Speaking at a workshop on Lassa fever, which was organised by the ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, the health workers association’s President, Samuel Akingbehin, said the 7,243 rats were killed at the Onigongbo, Oshodi, Oke-Odo, Ikotun Idanwo, Ojuwoye and Mile 12 and Alaba Rago markets.
Akingbehin said de-rating the markets was part of the association’s efforts to curb the spread of Lassa fever in the state.
“The exercise is strategic in our effort toward the prevention of Lass fever. We call on other agencies in the state to de-rat markets and stop Lassa fever.”
Akingbehin appealed to traders across the state to understand the efforts of the association to rid the markets of rats and rodents.
He said the plan was to de-rat markets in one local government area per day, starting from 5pm.
Akingbehin said, “We decided to put the exercise in the evening due to the nocturnal nature of rodents and our members had recorded successes in the markets visited till date.
“It took us about three hours to cover the Oshodi Market when our members went there for the exercise. Today, Monday, we will be visiting Suru-Alaba Market in Orile with about 400 EHOs to de-rat it.”
The Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Muslim Folami appealed to the health workers to go to the nook and cranny of the state to sensitise the residents.