Stakeholders Working Towards Containment Of Monkeypox Outbreak – FG

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…As Agric Ministry reels out preventive measures 

Dr Mohammad Abubakar
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar.

The Federal Government has revealed that there are heightened collaborations between ministries, departments and agencies of government as well as the private sector to ensure that the resurgence of the monkeypox virus in Nigeria is contained and brought under control. 

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, revealed this sequel to the recent confirmation of monkeypox (MP) resurgence in Nigeria on May 29, 2022, involving 21 persons by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), with one death resulting from co-morbidity.

In a statement he signed and made available to journalists yesterday, the minister said the ministry, through its Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services, is actively collaborating with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and other stakeholders in the One Health Team to ensure the situation is contained and brought under control.

The statement further presented some recommendations which would guide Nigeria through the outbreak and ensure containment. 

“Given the above, the FMARD is hereby advice people to avoid contact with persons suspected to be infected with monkeypox at home and workplaces; Hunters and dealers of ‘bushmeat’ must desist from the practice forthwith to prevent any possibility of spill-over of the pathogen in Nigeria.”

It further advised that transport of wild animals and their products within and across the borders should be suspended/restricted; Silos, stores and other agricultural storage facilities must institute active rodent control measures to prevent contact and possible contamination by the monkeypox.

Also, it urged all operators of zoos, parks, conservation and recreational centres keeping non-human primates in their domain to ensure strict compliance with biosecurity protocols aimed at preventing contact with humans.

“All veterinary clinics, veterinary teaching hospitals and other veterinary health institutions across the country must ensure vigilance, to be able to pick possible signs and symptoms of monkeypox in non-human primate (NHP) patients. 

“Ensure regular washing of hands using strong disinfectant after handling NHP and rodents in our various locations. We must also discourage the act of consumption, trade and keeping of NHP as well as rodents as pets in our homes.” 

The statement advised Nigerians to report any pox-like lesions seen on humans or animals to the nearest human or veterinary clinics. 

“Lastly, veterinary epidemiology officers, field surveillance agents and veterinarians should step up their surveillance activities aimed at picking any possible case of monkeypox in animals,” it added.

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