By Daniel Tyokua
The National Park Service in collaboration with National Environmental Standards and Regulatory Enforcement Agency (NESREA) have commenced sensitization of FCT residents on bushmeat consumption to curb disease.
At the commencement of the exercise, the conservator of the park, Dr Abdulrahman Mohammed visited Gosa market, along Airport Road at the weekend to meet with the bushmeat sellers.
Mohammed said the purpose of the campaign was to educate people on zoonotic disease, especially the vendors of bushmeat on the dangers it posed to the heath of humans.
He said zoonoses is a disease that could be transmitted from animal to humans and vice versa.
“The main objective of our outing is to sensitise the public on the significance of zoonoses . It is a disease that can be transmitted from man to animal or animal to human and to some extent they have been traced to bushmeat.
“We are here to educate the public , those that are into it, the vendors of bush meat to avoid it.
“There are a whole list of zoonotic diseases that originate from wildlife that is the bush meat people consume, such as tuberculosis, Ebola and currently the corona virus has been traced to wildlife.
“So we said we should come to those joints and spots to educate them because the hunters just kill these animals and the lifeless bodies are brought in for them, and they buy.
“Before they process for selling, the vendors are the first contact and the disease is spread through contact and the disease keeps spreading from humans to even domestic animals. So that is why we are here.”
He said the campaign would be continuous and the first target was Kuje Area Council and AMAC.
Mohammed, however said funding was needed to continue to support the exercise.
He advised the general public to avoid buying bushmeat as the best option to avoid the disease.
One of the bushmeat sellers, Madame Christiana Godwin, commended the organisers of the programme and promised to abide by the rules .
“What I will do is to abide by the rules . If I want to buy the bushmeat I will know how to buy it as they have enlightened us. I will tell my customers to obey the social distancing when they come to buy.”
Mr Baba-Aduga Mukailu, Market Manager, Kuje Area Council, thanked the National park and NESREA addling that he was impressed with the programme.
Mukailu noted that many of the traders did not believe there was corona virus saying “I believe with the sensitization now, my people here in the market have gotten full information about bush meats and the implications”.
“This thing has been with them for long and cannot be eradicated immediately but will be minimized now, and on my own, I will make contact with them often to till it’s totally eliminated”. He said
He said he would further sensitise the other traders so they are also aware that the virus is real and comply with the safety guidelines.