The Nigerian government has prohibited hunters and dealers of “bush meat” from the practice forthwith to avoid any possibility of “spillover” of Monkeypox in Nigeria.
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development (FMARD), made this known through the Department of Veterinary & Pest Control Services.
FMARD urged Veterinary epidemiology officers, field surveillance agents and veterinarians to step up their surveillance activities aimed at picking any possible case of Monkeypox in animals.
Also, FMARD warned people to avoid contact with persons suspected to be infected with Monkeypox at home and at workplaces.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, stated this in a statement on Tuesday, in Abuja.
“Following the recent confirmation of Monkeypox (MP) resurgence in Nigeria on May 29, involving 21 persons by the Nigeria Centre 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,” he said.
“Hunters and dealers of “bush meat” 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 and restricted,” he said.
Twenty-one cases of Monkey pox disease have been recorded this year.
Of the number, 15 incidents were captured as of April 30, 2022, while the other six happened between that time and May 29.
Consequently, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has activated a national Multi-sectoral Emergency Operations Centre for Monkeypox (MPX-EOC) at Level 2 to strengthen and coordinate ongoing response activities in-country.
In a statement in Abuja, Director General of NCDC, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, noted that genomic surveillance was ongoing at the centre’s National Reference Laboratory in Abuja, and had been confirmed to be caused by the West African clade Monkeypox virus.
He explained that the measure followed the report of a preliminary risk assessment done by a group of subject matter experts from the NCDC, relevant government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and partner agencies.