Via the Daily Independent, an editorial: Resurgence of ebola and its threat to Nigeria. Excerpt:
The recent warning by Nigeria’s Health Minister, Chukwu Onyebuchi Chukwu that heavy migration from the neighbouring countries where the ebola virus has been confirmed can actually lead to the transfer of the dreaded virus into Nigeria, calls for a serious alert on the part of government in particular and Nigerians in general. Indeed Nigerians need to remain health conscious.
Certainly, there is no better time than now for the government and people to take another look at environmental and personal cleanliness. Diseases of all sorts gain easy access into the bodies of people when they live in untidy environments. People get sick when they do not mind whether what they eat is fit for consumption. But with consciously organised environmental cleanliness coupled with personal cleanliness, the rate of spread of contagious diseases will be lowered and with time eradicated.
Right from the elementary schools hygiene and the need for sound personal cleanliness must be deliberately taught. Such teachings must continue at all levels of education in Nigeria. The now popular healthy practice of washing of hands with soap and water regularly but especially after using the toilet must be well taught to Nigerians of all age brackets. Above all people must desist from eating food remnants that may have been eaten by rodents and even insects.
Then, in the aspect of environmental cleanliness, both the government and the people have serious roles to play. There should be an increase in the enlightenment programmes that should aim to inculcate the habit of keeping the environment clean at all times. The people must always keep residences, shops, surroundings, gutters, nooks and crannies clean. Dumping of refuse at randomly must continually be discouraged.
The government on its part must ensure the provision of modern waste disposal practices to enhance the drive for cleaner environments. The system where heaps of wastes dot various spots in the towns and cities is deplorable and must be diligently tackled by the government.
We believe that the situation also calls for the government to address the issue of increasing poverty among the people. We reason that if not for poverty and hunger, why would anybody eat food remnants contaminated by rats and bats?
More employment opportunities need to be provided by the government with very vital enabling environment created for profitable entrepreneurial activities by the people. With that people will earn enough income to feed themselves rather than endanger their lives sharing food with poisonous rodents and insects.