Tuesday, April 23, 2024

FG Warns Nigerians to Stop Eating Ponmo Over Anthrax Disease Outbreak

The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), has hinted at the outbreak of anthrax in some neighboring countries within West Africa and urged Nigerians to stop eating ‘pomo’ for now.

The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), has hinted at the outbreak of anthrax in some neighboring countries within West Africa and urged Nigerians to stop eating ‘ponmo’ for now.

In an official statement, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe, warned that the general public is strongly advised to desist from the consumption of hides (pomo), smoked meat, and bush meat as they pose serious risks until the situation is brought under control.

Anthrax is an infectious disease caused by gram-positive bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis, which is found naturally in soil and commonly affects domestic and wild animals around the world.

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Umakhihe disclosed that anthrax is a bacterial disease that affects both animals and humans, which in turn makes it a zoonotic disease, explaining that anthrax spores are naturally found in the soil and commonly affect domestic and wild animals. Adding that people can get infected with anthrax spores if they come into contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products,

According to him, non-vaccinated animals with anthrax can easily transmit the zoonotic disease to humans through the inhalation of anthrax spores or the consumption of contaminated or infected animal products, such as meat, milk, hides, and skin.

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He assured the public that the government is working to control the outbreak as relevant institutions and collaborators have been contacted, while calling for the need to intensify animal vaccinations along the border states of Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Oyo, Ogun, and Lagos because of their proximity to Burkina Faso, Togo, and Ghana.

The permanent secretary pointed out that the cheapest and easiest means of preventing and controlling the disease is through vaccination, and that animal vaccinations with anthrax spore vaccines are available at the National Veterinary Research Institute in Vom, Plateau State.

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