Experts blame infectious diseases on disruption of ecosystem

Medical experts have attributed the re-occurrence of Emerging Infectious diseases (EIDs) to the inability of the government to control the disruption of the eco system through human activities.

According to them, inadequate funding of health care research and environmental impact studies together with government’s inability to regulate the way people destroy the environment have led to the increasing cases of outbreaks caused by dangerous pathogens.

The experts stated this during the 5th African Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity in Abuja organized by Global Emerging Pathogens Treatment Consortium (GET).

The Principal Investigator, GET, Prof Akin Abayomi, noted that Nigeria and Africa in general have been destroying the ecosystem through the destruction of forests, causing  animals to move out  into  human communities.

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He said the interaction between animals and humans is increasing due to population expansion and destruction of the ecosystem, thereby forcing animals out of forests.

He said the consequence of this is the increasing frequency and range of EIDs: ebola, lassa, yellow fever, monkey pox, cholera, bird flu and meningitis, adding that shrinking natural resources is creating human competition for water leading to demographic conflict.

The don stressed the need for government to spend more on health care delivery research and the creation of awareness, lamenting that there is a lag between what the government should be spending and what is being spent.

The Chief Operating Officer, GET, Dr Dotun Babadoye, lamented that the impact of changing climate and increasing security challenges in Africa are impacting on the emerging infectious diseases and biosecurity threat on the continent.

The Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Professor Chile Ihekweazu, pointed out that with the nation’s exponential growth rate of 2.8 per cent, including the internal and external migration coupled with poverty and lack of education are all responsible for the spread of infectious diseases.

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