The Sokoto State Ministry of Health on Thursday stopped the one month fumigation exercise sponsored by the Chairman Senate Committee on Defence, Senator Aliyu Wamakko.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Wamakko (APC-Sokoto) had on Wednesday inaugurated the fumigation exercise across five local government areas in the state.
According to the lawmaker, N8 million has been earmarked for the exercise to help communities in the state to stem the increasing level of malaria infection.
In a statement by the Sokoto State Malaria Elimination Agency, signed by its Director General, Muslim Gobir, the agency said the fumigation was not sanctioned as all agencies in charge of health care in the state were unaware of the exercise.
Gobir said: “We observe with dismay that a group of unknown people were seen carrying out fumigation activities with unknown chemicals in the state.
“The Sokoto State Ministry of Health, in collaboration with all healthcare agencies, wishes to categorically state that the ministry of health and its agencies were not aware of the sole decision by those unknown people to fumigate some parts of the state.
“Spraying of any chemical of public health importance should be channeled through the ministry of health.
“Hence skillful personnel, procedures and appropriate chemicals, must be in place so as not to endanger lives of the public.”
The statement added that the chemical might be hazardous and could be poisonous substance that could lead to health complications.
It added: “To safeguard the health of the public henceforth, no person or group of people should carry out any chemical spray of public health importance without the input of the ministry of health.
“So in view of the aforementioned, the ministry of health, in conjunction with the ministry of environment, has constituted high powered public and environmental health inspectors.
“They are to go round and apprehend anybody found carrying out such illegal spray and hand over such persons to relevant security agencies for prosecution.”