The Federal Government specifically mentioned that the disease was prevalent in northern
By Ade Morrison
On Monday, the Nigerian Federal Government officially confirmed the first case of anthrax in the country. They revealed that the disease had been detected on a farm located in Niger State.
An article published on June 13, 2023, by The PUNCH informed the public that the Federal Government had issued a warning about the outbreak of anthrax in neighboring countries within the West African sub-region. Nigerians were advised to avoid consuming hides, commonly known as ponmo, for the time being.
The Federal Government specifically mentioned that the disease was prevalent in northern Ghana, which shares borders with Burkina Faso and Togo. They also assured Nigerians that they would receive regular updates regarding the situation.
According to a statement released in Abuja on Monday, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development confirmed these details that it was “deeply concerned to announce the confirmation of an anthrax case in Niger State, Nigeria.”
It added, “On July 14, 2023, the Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria was notified of animals manifesting symptoms of a suspected case of anthrax in a farm in Suleja, Niger State.
“The case was in a multi-specie animal farm comprising of cattle, sheep and goats located at Gajiri, along Abuja-Kaduna expressway Suleja Local Government Area, Niger State, where some of the animals had symptoms including oozing of blood from their body openings – anus, nose, eyes, and ears.”
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) reported that a rapid response team, consisting of professionals from both federal and state levels known as the One Health Professional Team, visited the farm. Their objective was to carry out initial investigations and gather samples from the affected animals.
“Subsequent laboratory tests by the National Veterinary Research Institute laboratory confirmed the diagnosis, marking the first recorded case of anthrax in Nigeria in recent years and after the report of an outbreak of anthrax in Northern Ghana a few weeks ago. All animals affected have died,” the ministry stated.