The 30 abattoirs producing meat for 182.2 million Nigerians are in unhealthy and dilapidated conditions. Also, meat butchers commonly sell infected meat and offal for public consumption. This project aims to investigate and highlight the high food-borne public health risk that this situation presents for the Nigerian population.
Most abattoirs in Nigeria are highly dilapidated and known for unhealthy meat-processing activities and unsafe environment. It is common for meat butchers to sell meat and offal infected with micro-organisms and parasites for public consumption, e.g., Tuberculosis-infected lungs sold as delicacies. Despite various efforts at advocating for changes, the situation remains the same. Thus, abattoirs (and butchers) are direct sources of deleterious food and animal-borne infectious diseases.
To investigate this story, we will undertake an in-depth descriptive study complete with a picture collage of the abattoirs, abattoir environment, abattoir activities and the meat products being processed/sold for public consumption. We would also undertake individual and group interviews with various groups of abattoir workers which include butchers, meat dealers, meat inspection and veterinary officers. We would also conduct an online survey to investigate Nigerians’ thoughts on identification and consumption of “good” and “bad” meat. These results would then be consolidated into an e-photobook, audio-visual documentary and written articles for extensive reportage of the problem.
We will utilize digital approaches including onsite and online interviews/surveys, multimedia tools (photography and videography), data analysis and infographics, and promote study outcomes through digital and social media.
Our target audience include all active stakeholders in the abattoir matrix including professionals (veterinarians, public health officials, meat inspection officers, abattoir workers/butchers/meat sellers, food technologists), presiding government institutions (Ministry of Agriculture), and the Nigerian public who are the meat consumers.
To reach one of our major target populations of meat sellers and abattoir workers most of whom are illiterates or semi-literates, we would utilize media outlets such as showing documentaries on local TV stations, translating written reports to local languages for local media, and engaging in radio interviews.
We aim to achieve impact by promoting extensive advocacy and public engagement on the problem, and to incite core action by all stakeholders towards rehabilitating Nigerian Abattoirs and implementing favorable policies for meat hygiene and public health promotion.