Hehe. Rat genocide. We hear that the Environmental Health Officers Association of Nigeria (EHOAN), Lagos State Chapter, claim that it had killed no fewer than 4,400 rats at six major markets in the state under its de-rat market programme. According to the president of the Association, Mr Samuel Akingbehin, his association carried out the exercise at Onigongbo, Oshodi , Oke-Odo,Ikotun Idanwo, Ojuwoye and Mile 12 Markets. He reportedly said that de-rating the markets was part of the association’s efforts to curb the spread of Lassa fever in the state.
“The exercise is strategic in our effort toward the prevention of communicable diseases,’’ he was quoted to have said. Since the outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria, no fewer than 76 victims have died while over 200 cases across 17 out of the 36 states are quarantined and under observations. During the exercise, Mr Akingbehin reportedly appealed to traders from across the state to show an understanding toward the efforts of the association to rid the markets of rats and rodents. He said that the plan was to de-rat markets in one local government area per day starting from 5p.m.
The association decided on this time to allow traders and buyers transact their legitimate businesses. “We also decided to put the exercise in the evening due to the nocturnal nature of rodents and our members had recorded successes in the markets visited till date… It took us about three hours to cover the Oshodi market when our members went there for the exercise… Today, Monday, we will be visiting Suru-Alaba Market in Orile-Ifelodun LCDA by 5p.m. with about 400 EHOs to de-rat it… We are still calling on all other executive secretaries of the local government areas to assist us toward the elimination of rodents in our markets and our environments,’’ he said.
The primary host of the Lassa virus is the Natal-multimammate mouse. This rat differs from the common rat by having several nipples running alongside its body just like a female dog. This rat is found in large quantities allover sub saharan Africa and since you wouldn’t want to be checking all rats to see how many nipples they have, the key thing is that all rats are dangerous at this time.