Dr. Felix Archibong, the Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Cross River State, has expressed concern over the resurgence of waste in parts of Calabar, the state capital, and the resulting proliferation of rats.
Archibong believes that the increasing and indiscriminate dumping of waste and the large number of rats are responsible for the resurgence of Lassa fever in the state.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) have recently reported an upsurge in Lassa fever cases in some parts of Nigeria.
Archibong, speaking in an interview with AGS NEWS, explained that the prevalence of Lassa fever in the state is largely due to poor environmental hygiene.
He said that Lassa fever is primarily caused by contaminated food and water consumed by humans, which is why proper refuse disposal is crucial.
He added that awareness has been raised about the increasing waste that litters the city centres, and that Calabar, which was known for its green and clean nature, has now become a centre for filth and rats.
Archibong advised that eliminating the rats is the best way to prevent the spread of Lassa fever, which is a highly fatal disease. He urged people to cover their food, keep their environment clean, and kill all rats at sight.
He also called on the sanitation authorities to help society by frequently cleaning and evacuating the waste to prevent the outbreak of more dangerous diseases.
Finally, he warned families to be very careful with rat poisons so that children do not accidentally ingest them, and suggested that keeping cats in homes can be an effective way of eliminating rats.