Nigeria: The importation of secondhand clothing is accelerating the spread of Monkey Pox

Hussein Ejubunu, Customs Area Controller, CAC of Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone A, Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, has issued a warning against the importation and use of ‘worn garments,’ particularly in light of the country’s Monkeypox outbreak.

He made these comments during a press conference in Lagos, where he explained that the world is concerned about Monkeypox, whose mechanism of transmission includes clothing.

Ejibunu further stated that smuggling used clothes has economic and health consequences for Nigerians.

Customs discovered 1,955 bales of worn apparel in an abandoned facility near the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, according to the Customs Controller. “We discovered and evacuated using a combination of intelligence, tact, and enforcement.”

He further stated that the use of such clothing exposes consumers to skin disorders such as scabies, as well as fungal diseases that can be spread by wearing dirty second-hand clothing.

It is unlawful to import used clothing for resale: Used clothing in commercial quantities is strictly prohibited. They’ve been apprehended, and we’re on the lookout for the smugglers.

According to him: “The very serious health implication of this act of textile smuggling is exposure of users to skin diseases like scabies and fungal diseases which can be transmitted by wearing unwashed second-hand clothes.

“Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease that occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of central and West Africa and is occasionally exported to other regions.

“The government in its wisdom wants the local textile industry to enjoy protection and create more jobs for Nigerians from the cotton farms through the textile and garment factories to our markets,” he noted.

Monkeypox is spread to people by direct contact with an infected person or animal, or through anything contaminated with the virus, according to a World Health Organization fact sheet.

“Monkeypox virus” is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding.

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