With the threats posed by COVID-19, Lassa fever, and other disease outbreaks to Nigerians, some stakeholders believe the introduction of dry vapor steam can act as antidote to germs and viruses responsible for most disease outbreaks experienced in the country. Martins Ifijeh writes
Just last week, the death toll from Lassa fever in Nigeria since January 1 was placed at 144; the highest so far recorded within the first three months of a new year in the country.
This is in addition to other bouts of recurrent outbreaks the country has suffered in recent times, including yellow fever, cholera and diarrhea.
The country is also battling with the threat posed by COVID-19, a new type of coronavirus that birthed in Wuhan city in China December 19, 2020, and has now claimed 6700 lives and infected over 172, 000 persons in 164 countries, according to World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics.
Luckily for Nigeria, it has only recorded three confirmed cases of COVID-19 with one of the cases successfully treated and discharged from quarantine.
Recently, the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) raised the alarm that measles and cholera outbreaks were lurking around the corner, and that Nigerians should brace up for the periodic outbreak of both diseases.
These myriads of threats from disease epidemics and the potential deaths associated with them has prompted some stakeholders to advocate for the use of dry vapor steam and lumitesters as part of measures to disinfect germs and bacteria infestation; a new eco-friendly technology.
Sharing his thoughts with THISDAY in Lagos recently, the Managing Director, Germbusters.ng Services, Magnus Onyibe said one of the reasons for disease outbreaks was the inability to detect pathogen or bacteria loads in the environment.
He added that before now, for one to identify these pathogens, swabs of identified locations were usually taken to the laboratory for culture and sensitivity which takes at least 48 hours.
“But times have changed. Our high tech Lumitester, which is like a mobile laboratory, detects instantly the number of bacteria in facilities or spaces.
“For us to contain the spread of Coronavirus, Lassa fever and other diseases experienced in Nigeria, it is advisable to have our environments sterilised regularly as a further measure against disease spread.
“When we were in elementary school, we learnt that when we heat water to a boiling point, all the germs in the water will be killed. Most non-scientists grow up with that belief, without learning further that when the water that has reached boiling point is turned into dry vapor steam , it becomes a natural disinfectant.”
He said Nigerians must not wait for the government to solely disinfect their environment, adding that every Nigerian, companies or other establishments have a duty to prevent diseases.
Describing the technology, he said Germbusters.ng was leveraging two cutting edge technological devices which are; the optima steamer with Korean and USA origin, which uses dry vapor steam- natural disinfectant to kill germs; and the Lumitester hygiene monitoring tool which is made in Japan and works like a mobile laboratory used in the detection of bacteria load in an environment within seconds.
“This is achieved by deploying the skills of well-trained health technicians in complimenting government’s initiative of promoting public health safety through the elimination of water and food borne pathogens in unhygienic environments that cause diseases national epidemics.
“We were motivated to venture into public health safety arena simply because we were appalled by the devastating effect that Ebola had on Africans and vowed never again to standby while unhygienic practices of cohabitating with rodents which are vectors for Lassa fever and eating strange animals like bats and monkeys suspected to be the causes of Ebola which caused so much Human Resources on the continent of Africa.”
He said the organisation’s original intention when it was set up about a year ago was to support government’s effort in reducing, if not eliminating common diseases such dysentery, typhoid , diarrhea, among others.
He said Germbusters has been carrying out the function by killing germs and bacteria in hospitals, laboratories, hotel rooms and kitchens as well food factories, pharmaceutical plants and table water production facilities through sterilisation and sanitisation.
“But we extended it to schools when there was flu outbreak which first created a scare in Queens College, Yaba.”
He said the dry vapor steamer removes bacteria without the use of harsh chemicals such as dettol, bleach, izal, among others, adding that the dry vapor steam from optima steamer was a natural disinfectant that reaches into the most stubborn cracks and crevices in kitchens and factory equipment.
“Our steamer also demolishes grime build up in factory machines leaving the area spotless and germs free.
“Owing to the revolutionary and positive changes that our services have introduced into the public health safety space in Nigeria , a handful of hospitals, laboratories, pharmaceutical firms are currently enjoying our services or in negotiations with Germbusters.ng on how to obtain their services.”
He said the organisation was negotiating with Reddington Hospital, Lagoon Hospital, Eko Hospital, OMNI fertility hospital, among others.