Medical personnel in Nigeria have warned the public against soaking garri which is like a fast-food among Nigerians as it poses a grave health risk.
The Medical and Health Workers Union, Lagos State council, on Saturday, said that it would embark on public enlightenment to discourage drinking of gari for now to prevent Lassa fever, according to the Nigerian Tribune.
Mr Razak Adeofalade, Chairman of the union, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. According to him, the house rats that caused Lassa fever are mostly in contact with Nigerian most staple food, gari, a cassava product.
“We are going to encourage members of the public to stop drinking gari at this moment, it is better that the cassava flour is utilised for ‘eba’ because of the use of hot water.
“We are waging total war and that is: ‘War against Rats,’ and that is what we are going to do to ensure we do not have another victim of Lassa fever in the state.
“We will also be telling them to ensure that their fruits and raw vegetables are properly washed if they must be consumed raw and cook to the appropriate temperature.
“The whole essence is to enlighten our people because education carries a lot of weight in this whole activity,” he said.
Adeofalade added that the union was also calling for adaptation of best practices for food storage to prevent epidemic. According to him, the union is determined to wage war against rats in the state and public enlightenment on fighting epidemic.