Bio-Terrorism Incidents: Nigeria Awareness and Preparedness
Biological agents are microorganisms or their products that can be potentially applied in biological warfare. The use of biological agents as weapons in conflicts has been prevalent throughout history. With the increase in terrorism incidents globally and within the Nigerian environment, as well as the graduation of terrorist groups from their previous objectives of fighting governments to inflicting mass damage and national carnage, bioterrorism actions are becoming a possibility that Nigeria needs to be aware and prepare for. The anthrax-laden letter attacks in the USA in 2001 led to realization of the possibilities of, and dangers posed in bioterrorism actions, and increased investment in preparedness for a potential bioterrorism attack by the US and other developed nations. Defending the nation against possible events involving such agents obviously requires being prepared. The Nigerian security and emergency management sector seem to be totally unprepared for most emergency situations, and therefore may not cope in the face of a biological attack, leading to the increase in spread and effects of such incidents. This article aims to look at the challenges posed to emergency preparedness for potential biological incidents in Nigeria and outline steps that can be taken to prepare for them.
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