The Lagos State government is sensitizing stakeholders who sell meat on the importance of curbing communicable diseases.

Anthrax: Senate Tasks FG on Nationwide Vaccination of Livestock

The Senate has urged the Federal Government to through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the Federal Ministry of Health as a matter of urgency, carry out a nationwide vaccination of livestock with the anthrax spore vaccine, most especially, in the border states of the country.

The Senate has also urged the Federal Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism to begin intensive awareness campaigns to sensitize Nigerians on the outbreak of the anthrax disease, symptoms for early detection, and prevention guidelines.

The Upper Chamber has mandated Senator Garba Musa Maidoki, PDP, Kebbi South led Senate Committee on Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance.

Resolutions of the Senate yesterday were sequel to a motion titled, “Call to Address the Low Level of Awareness and Preparedness to Prevent the Outbreak of Anthrax in Nigeria.” It was sponsored by Senator Ezenwa Francis Onyewuchi, LP, Imo East.

In his presentation, Onyewuchi said that the Senate: “Notes that there is an outbreak of anthrax disease, a deadly zoonotic bacterium, in countries across the ECOWAS region, including Ghana and Togo;

“Also notes that on the 12th of June 2023, the federal government, amidst the democracy day celebration, raised an alarm over the outbreak of the deadly anthrax disease.

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“Further notes that in the public health advisory jointly signed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Nigeria was said to be at high risk of importing the deadly anthrax disease from Ghana, where it was confirmed both in humans and animals.

“Aware of a report by Citi Newsroom that 30 animals have died, three human deaths have been recorded, and 13 cases have tested positive for the anthrax disease in Ghana as of June 2023.

“Cognizant of the fact that though anthrax is primarily a disease of animals, non-vaccinated animals with anthrax can easily transmit it to man through the inhalation of anthrax spores or consumption of contaminated/infected animal products such as hides and skin, meat or milk.”

He further said that the Senate is “Worried that although Nigeria is yet to record any suspected or confirmed case, the outbreak in Ghana poses a great public health risk to Nigeria due to the highly transmissible nature of the disease.

“Also worried by Nigeria’s low level of preparedness and awareness as a good number of Nigerians are ignorant of the outbreak of the anthrax disease, how it is transmitted, or the risk it portends; and

“Further worried that no nationwide livestock vaccination exercise against anthrax disease, as a means to prevent this disease from infiltrating the country, has been announced by the federal government.”