Following the confirmation of the monkeypox disease in Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has warned citizens to desist from consuming bushmeat, including rodents and others.
The warning came via a statement by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, who stated that the ministry intends to make sure that the situation is contained and brought under control.
Abubakar added that citizens also have a part to play in containing the spread of the virus by adhering to hygiene practices.
"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.
"In view of the above, the FMARD is hereby giving the following advice: People must avoid contact with persons suspected to be infected with Monkey Pox 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 Monkey Pox 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 Monkey Pox 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", he said.
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