The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has issued a warning to Nigerians, urging them to avoid consuming meat from sick animals, as it may be contaminated with anthrax. This caution comes in light of an ongoing outbreak of the disease in Gajiri Village, Niger State, where the House of Representatives has called for collaborative efforts between the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and relevant stakeholders to contain the situation.
Anthrax is caused by the spore-forming bacteria Bacillus anthracis and primarily affects ruminant animals such as cows, sheep, and goats. It is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can be transmitted from infected animals to humans. Humans can become infected by handling or slaughtering sick animals or coming into contact with contaminated animal products.
In an interview on Channels Television’s breakfast program, Sunrise Daily, the Director-General of NCDC, Ifedayo Adetify, emphasized the importance of caution when consuming meat. He warned that sick animals, including those that have died of anthrax, carry the bacteria, which can be present in their skin, hair, and meat. Therefore, the consumption of such products can pose significant health risks. Adetify advised Nigerians to be vigilant and mindful of the meat they purchase.
In response to the outbreak, the House of Representatives has taken action, urging the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to collaborate with relevant stakeholders and implement effective surveillance, vaccination, and awareness campaigns. The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has also been called upon to take measures to prevent further spread of the disease.
During the plenary session, Adamu Tanko moved a motion titled “Need to Curtail the Outbreak of Anthrax Discovered in a Farm at Gajiri Village, Suleiman, Niger State.” Tanko highlighted the presence of anthrax in Nigeria, as confirmed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. He expressed concerns about the potential impact on humans in direct contact with affected animals and contaminated products.
Tanko called for proactive measures to prevent the spread of anthrax, including strict surveillance and monitoring of livestock farms, proper disposal of infected animals and contaminated materials, and compensation for affected communities. The House of Representatives referred the matter to its committee on health to ensure compliance and appropriate action.