Garri (cassava flakes) is a staple food in Nigeria consumed in almost every household. A recent publication published by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) draws the attention of Nigerians to become more cautious with consumption of Garri, especially soaked Garri. This was said by a medical expert who explained the link between soaked Garri and Lassa Fever. Nigeria has had reported cases of Lassa Fever in recent times and much attention has been given in the prevention of the disease across the country.
The Director of Public Health, Enugu State, Dr Boniface Okolo cautioned Nigerians against the consumption of soaked garri to avoid contacting Lassa Fever
Okolo, who gave the warning in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Saturday in Enugu, said the rats that caused the disease were mostly in contact with cassava, from which Garri is processed. He added that it was necessary to discourage people from consumption of soaked garri because it does not make use of boiled water. The medical expert noted that boiled water could go a long way to kill bacteria caused by pest or rodents in garri.
“It is better that the cassava flakes called garri is used for ‘eba’, because of the use of hot water. We in the state health ministry are waging total war against rodents through sensitisation, that is what we are doing to ensure we do not have victim of Lassa fever in the state.”
He continued, “We are also sensitising the public to ensure that their fruits and raw vegetables are properly washed if they must be consumed raw and be cooked to the appropriate temperature.”
Dr. Okolo also said that the best practices for food storage should be encouraged to prevent Lassa Fever epidemic. “We should always make sure that we use air-tight clean plastic containers to preserve our foodstuff to avoid lassa fever and other diseases,” he said.