Epidemiologist says environmental sanitation essential in disease prevention


An Epidemiologist with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Biodun Ogunniyi  has called on Nigerians to ensure proper environmental sanitation in their surroundings to prevent diseases.


Ogunniyi made the call the press 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 has 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 toy 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 go a long way to ensure a good personal and environmental hygiene at all times.


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 it was the vaccine that protects against yellow fever and not the yellow card.


Ogunniyi, however, advised Nigerians to ensure that they get vaccinated.