Dear Nigerians, as you stroll excitedly to that buka, proceed with caution
Nigerians love their roadside food; Firewood Jollof rice, Amala and Gbegbiri with ‘roundabout’ (the name for a type of meat), fufu and ewedu with ‘eja kika’ ( a type of smoked fish), etc I can go on and on.
Canteens or ‘mama put’ (local parlance for low-grade eateries) have a field day with students, artisans and even white-collar workers flocking in left, right and center. There is just something about the local food that keeps the average Nigerian coming back even when more prestigious options can be afforded. Don’t ask me what it is though, your guess is as good as mine.
Unfortunately, some of these roadside street vendors tend to be otherwise careless with their food preparation methods — water being one of the most abused elements of the cooking process. Water can be indiscriminately obtained from the nearest available source by these food vendors regardless of the hygienic state of the environment. As stated by Nikhil Manglik, the CEO of emedihealth, water plays a significant role in carrying millions of microorganisms and pollutants that, if unchecked, could lead to serious health conditions.
The dangers of this unchecked practices by food vendors perhaps has not been hammered enough. if the wrong strains of bacteria and other harmful microbes find their way from the water body into the food eaten, things can go awry pretty fast, even leading to fatality.
It pays to be mindful of one’s health habits, and this starts with educating yourself with user-friendly health information sites such as eMediHealth, where they break down health related topics into simple digestive bits, there is also a helpful Q&A feature with qualified specialists in their respective fields.
In Lagos, of recent, there had been a reported outbreak of a disease called Gastroenteritis, a virus or bacteria-causing inflammation of the stomach and intestinal walls resulting in vomiting and diarrhea.
As reported by Pulse Nigeria, according to Lagos Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, some 117 persons have been infected by the disease in five local government areas of the state.
A health worker in Ebute-metta disclosed that some 168 patients have been diagnosed with the ailment so far; and that the figure could be higher because not all cases are reported.
It’s high time we as Nigerians begin to prioritize our health over the convenience roadside foods offer us. If we can’t really verify the source of water used in cooking and cleaning utensils, we can either leave for a more decent eatery or try to politely discover the source of water these food vendors use to prepare the food we consume outside.
It helps to educate ourselves periodically on health-related matters, by making use of the internet. To make it a regular habit, you can subscribe to credible websites that promote healthy living such as emedihealth earlier mentioned above.
Let’s strive to be more conscious of safeguarding our health. It is the first step to creating the wealth we dream of.
This content originally appeared on Pulse.ng