Thursday, 7 August 2014

Lagos Suya Sellers Not Aware of Ebola Virus

  In spite of the widespread fear generated by the dreaded Ebola virus in Lagos, vendors of the popular roadside roasted meat, suya, in the city have said that they did not know of the existence of the disease.

The vendors, who operate at a major suya point in the Agege market, said that they were not aware of the Liberian, Patrick Sawyer, who died in Lagos from the Ebola virus.

The Ebola virus, an almost instant killer, is currently ravaging the countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea and it is said to have killed hundreds of people.

It spreads through bodily fluids and consumption of contaminated bats, monkeys and bushmeat. There have been fears that the virus might also be in suya.

The suya vendors, who spoke to our correspondent, said that they had not received any sensitisation on the dreaded disease.

One of them who identified himself as Ahmed said he had never heard anything called Ebola.

He noted that he was unaware of the outbreak in West Africa, saying, “I have been selling my suya here and I have never heard of it (Ebola)”.

Another suya vendor, who simply identified himself as Ibrahim also said he had not heard of the virus and wondered how it could be related to suya.

“I am only selling suya. Ebola I don’t know. How does it concern my suya. Nobody, not government or private, has come to tell us of it,” he said.

When asked whether the patronage of his product had suffered any decline, he said nothing had changed and that the people were still patronising him as usual.

But another suya vendor, who did not want his name in print, said he had noticed a reduction in the patronage of his wares.

He also noted that he was not aware that the virus was present in the country.

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