Dangote Cement Plc has initiated an extensive health awareness campaign aimed at supporting government efforts to prevent the spread of diseases, including anthrax.
The campaign’s launch took place in four communities associated with Dangote Cement Plc: Oyo, Iwaa, Apata, and Obajana, all located in Kogi state.
The initiative comes in response to the detection of anthrax cases in Nigeria, with the Federal Government confirming the first instance on a farm in Niger State in July.
Prior to this, in June, the government alerted the public about anthrax outbreaks in neighboring West African countries and advised against the consumption of hides (ponmo).
The awareness event at Obajana, Kogi State, saw Mr. Ademola Adeyemi, the General Manager of Community Affairs/Special Duties at Dangote Cement Plc, emphasize the value of information sharing for community well-being.
Attendees were encouraged to spread the information to ensure it reaches every corner of the community.
Dr. Akinola Adewale, representing Dangote Cement Plc, explained during the sensitization program that anthrax is caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis, primarily affecting animals like cattle, sheep, and goats.
Dr. Adewale highlighted that the disease can also infect humans who come into contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products such as hides, wool, and meat.
One identifying sign of infected animals is the continuous discharge of blood from their anus, ears, and mouth postmortem.
Dr. Olufemi Adebayo, a member of the medical team, advised quarantining sick animals and urged livestock owners to report suspicious illnesses or deaths.
Oba (Dr.) Idowu Isenibi, the Bajana of Obajana, emphasized the seriousness of the warning for meat sellers and butchers to safeguard both livestock and human lives.
The event saw strong participation from representatives of butchers and meat sellers, as well as various ethnic groups within and around the Obajana communities.
The campaign seeks to foster greater awareness and responsibility in combatting the spread of anthrax and other diseases in these regions.