National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has warned Nigerian pilgrims currently performing 2023 Hajj in Saudi Arabia to avoid consumption of ponmo, smoked meat and bush meat in the holy land, following the outbreak of Anthrax insome neighboring countries.
The Federal Ministry of Health has just been informed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture on the outbreak of Anthrax in some neighboring countries within West African sub-region specifically Ghana, Burkina Faso and Togo.
Anthrax is a zoonotic disease, a bacterial infection primarily affects Animals and Man.
Anthrax spores are naturally found in the soll and commonly infect domestic and wild animals. They are non-contagious, but man can get infected by coming in contact with an infected animal or contaminated animal products.
The disease has flu-like symptoms such as cough, fever and muscle aches. If not
diagnosed and treated early can lead to pneumonia, sever lung problems, difficulty in breathing, shock and death. However, being a bacterial disease its respond to Antibiotics.
It is primarily an Animal disease, non-vaccinated animals with Anthrax can easily transmit to man through Inhalation of Anthrax spores or consumption of Anthrax products such as hide and skin, meat and milk.
In a statement by Dr Saidu Ahmed Dumbulwa Hon.Commissioner, Health, NAHCON/FMOH, the commission expressed concern of the commission that pilgrims and traders from South western states bordering Togo Republic might likely export such Animal products.
“We are also mindful and concerned of the fact that Pilgrims and traders from Southwestern states bordering Togo Republic might likely export such Animal products. all medical personnel of NMT are required to note the observation and advise accordingly where necessary as preventive measure,” the statement said.
“To this end, the Federal Ministry of Health is inclined to advice that intending pilgrims pilgrims in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to desist from consumption of hides (Ponmo) smoked meat, bush meat until situation is brought under control as they pose serious risks to the pilgrims,” it added.
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