An epidemiologist with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Mr Biodun Ogunniyi, has called on Nigerians to ensure proper environmental sanitation in their surroundings to prevent diseases outbreak.
Ogunniyi made the call on Saturday, November 2, 2019 in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
According to him, most infectious diseases affecting Nigerians like yellow fever and cholera can be linked to poor sanitation and hygiene practices in affected communities.
He said every Nigerian had a part to play in reducing opportunities for disease vectors to fester.
“We need to hold ourselves accountable and work together to prevent infectious disease outbreaks.
“Everyone has role to play, the government, the private sector and the general public,” he said.
The epidemiologist said that vectors of infectious diseases like yellow fever now have increased access to humans due to urbanisation.
He said that, in addition to the government’s efforts to prevent and control disease outbreaks, there was need for Nigerians to take responsibility for their health as well.
Ogunniyi said that this would always go a long way to ensure a good personal and environmental hygiene.
He, however, disclosed that the NCDC now has a national reference laboratory to diagnose infectious diseases like yellow fever, ebola, lassa fever and others.
The epidemiologist said that NCDC is establishing Public Health Emergency Operations Centres across the country as part strategy to improve health security at the national and sub-national levels.
“States can now mount and lead speedy response to outbreaks of disease,” he said.
Ogunniyi said that this would ensure that response activities were initiated faster.
In line with the global Eye Strategy to eliminate yellow fever epidemics, he said that NCDC is working with partners to prevent international spread of the disease.
He reiterated that the vaccine protects against yellow fever and not the yellow card.
Ogunniyi, however, advised Nigerians to ensure that they get vaccinated.
By Abujah Rachael