Vanguard (Lagos)

13 November 2012

Nigeria: Flood - Scientist Warns of Looming Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Photo: Pierre Holtz/IRIN
Inhabitants face worst floods.

A scientist, Dr. Sam Awolola, has warned of imminent high incidence of mosquito borne diseases in flood affected areas in the country if nothing urgent is done to the aftermath of the unfortunate disaster.

Awolola, a Research Fellow and member of the Society for Mosquito Control in Nigeria, SMCN, urged the Federal government to urgently put measures in place to check high breeding of mosquito in the areas with a view to ensuring stagnant water does not become a bigger problem to the country.

His words: "When you have flood in an area, you will never find mosquitoes anywhere near the area until the flood begins to rescind. But when it rescinds you find various types of mosquitoes coming back to lay eggs and when this happens, it becomes a big problem."

Further, the scientist remarked that while it is good to ensure that residents have food to eat and treatment, said it is more important that those who have return to their homes are protected from mosquitoes. "There is urgent need for government to ensure that these people sleep under a treated nets or carry out indoor residual spraying in those areas," he warned.

Awolola who regretted that the mosquito was difficult organism which earned it the name moving target said it had developed resistance. Mosquitoes cause more human suffering than any other organism. Over one million people worldwide die from mosquito-borne diseases every year. Not only do mosquitoes carry diseases that afflict humans, they also transmit several diseases and parasites that dogs and horses are very susceptible to.

Mosquito vectored diseases include protozoan diseases, i.e., malaria, filarial diseases such as dog heartworm, and viruses such as dengue, encephalitis and yellow fever.

He said to ensure safety of victims to their various homes, there is need for adoption of the use of Insecticide Treated Bed nets, ITNs and Indoor Residual Spray to keep mosquito borne diseases at bay in the affected areas.

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