The Federal Government has donated some materials to Cross River Government as part of measures being taken to prevent the outbreak of Lassa fever and other zoonotic diseases in the state.
The materials were donated by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development through its Regional Disease Surveillance System Enhancement (REDISSE) to the state Ministry of Agriculture on Wednesdayin Calabar.
The items include two motorbikes and four tricycles to aide easy movement in rural areas as well as well as biosecurity materials such as disinfectants, motorised sprayers, Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE), alcohol and antiseptics.
Dr Bassey Ekong, who presented the materials on behalf of the federal government, said REDISSE aimed at strengthening national, regional and cross-sectional capacities for collaborative disease surveillance, epidemic preparedness and response in West Africa.
“This is to effectively address systemic gaps in the animal and human health system that hinder effective disease surveillance and response.
“To guard against the outbreak of Lassa fever in the state, there is need to carry out routine disinfection and maintenance of proper hygiene in slaughter houses and workplaces.
“Rats are the vectors of Lassa fever; if the places are clean and disinfected, they will not come around and the virus will be controlled,” she said.
Receiving the materials, Mr Okon Onwuka, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, thanked the federal government for the gesture.
Onwuka assured that the materials would be effectively utilised to prevent the outbreak of any form of zoonotic disease in the state.
He charged the workers in the state Department of Veterinary Services to scale up action in combating biosecurity challenges of any kind at the slightest notice.
He further assured the residents of the state that government would make concerted efforts to checkmate outbreaks of animal diseases and common viruses in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that although there is no confirmed case of Lassa fever in Cross River, neighbouring Abia, Ebonyi and Benue have had confirmed cases, a situation which has resulted in stringent biosecurity measures being taken in the state. (NAN)