Monkey Pox: Ministry Of Agric Warns Nigerians To Desist From Bush Meat Consumption

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As the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has reported 21 cases of monkeypox in the country, the Federal Government has rolled out strict measures to contain the spread of the pandemic.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar in a statement he signed, urged Nigerians to avoid contact with persons suspected to be infected with Monkey Pox at home and at workplaces.

The Minister also told hunters and dealers of bushmeat to desist from the practise forthwith to reduce the spread.

Dr Abubakar called on Veterinary epidemiology officers, field surveillance agents and veterinarians to step up their surveillance activities aimed at picking any possible case of Monkey Pox in animals.

The statement reads: “Following the recent confirmation of Monkey Pox (MP) resurgence in Nigeria on the 29th of May, 2022 involving 21 persons by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), where it was said to have led to the death of one person with co-morbidity.

“The Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development (FMARD) through the Department of Veterinary & 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.

While advising on measures to contain the disease, the Minister said “people must avoid contact with persons suspected to be infected with monkeypox at home and at workplaces.

“Hunters and dealers of “Bushmeat” must desist from the practice forthwith to prevent any possibility of “SPILLOVER” of the pathogen in Nigeria.

“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 contacts and possible contamination of monkeypox virus with foodstuff.

“All operators of zoos, parks, conservation and recreational centres keeping non-human primates in their domains must ensure strict compliance with their biosecurity protocols aimed at preventing their contact with humans.

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

“We must also ensure regular handwashing using strong disinfectant anytime we handle 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 general public is hereby advised to report any pox-like lesions seen on humans or animals to the nearest human or veterinary clinics respectively.”

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