Eid al-Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice is one of the most important feasts on the Muslim calendar. It celebrates the willingness of the Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismail in submission to Allah’s command before he was given a replacement by Allah.
This festival is celebrated throughout the Muslim world as a commemoration of Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice everything for Allah.
Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the twelfth and final month in the Islamic calendar which is likely to be June 28, 2023 as the exact day is based on lunar sightings. During this festival, Muslims are expected to slaughter ruminants such as camels, cattle, sheep or goats and share the meat to their love ones and the needy in society.
Following the anthrax disease outbreak in two local districts, the Upper East Regional Coordinating Council has prohibited the movement of ruminants.
Bansi in the Binduri District and Sapeliga in the Bawku West District are the communities where cases have been reported thus far.
The Chief Director, Alhaji Abubakari Inusah, stated in a press release following an emergency meeting of the Regional Public Health Emergency Management Committee on Monday June 5, 2023 that a ban has been imposed with immediate effect on the movement of ruminants such as goats, sheep, pigs, cattle, and dogs from the eastern corridor of the region.
Bawku Municipality, Bawku West, Pusiga, Garu, Tempane, and Binduri districts are among those who are impacted.
It is the responsibility of the Municipal and District Chief Executives (MDCEs) to see that the slaughter, sale, and consumption of cattle, sheep, goats, and dogs are prohibited beginning on Tuesday, June 6, 2023, for a duration of one month.
In addition, anyone or any group of people who disobeys the order must be apprehended or arrested by the police. The categories of ruminants should immediately begin receiving anthrax vaccinations, according to a directive given to veterinarians in the affected districts.
Speaking with Mohammed Faisal KMF the host of ‘Manyan Batutuwan Mako’ a weekend current affairs show on Haske Radio 91.7 Mhz in Kumasi, Dr Tamim Abdul Basit (a private medical practitioner) explained that Anthrax is a disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax spores in the soil are very resistant and can cause disease when ingested. He added that in humans, anthrax manifests itself in three distinct patterns (cutaneous, gastrointestinal and inhalational). The most common is a skin infection, where people become infected handling animals or animal products that contain these spores. This can happen to people in contact with sick animals. Dr. Abdul Basit further explained that Symptoms typically appear within one week of exposure and may include chest pain and trouble breathing, fatigue, fever and profuse sweating, headache or muscle aches, itchy blisters or bumps, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea, skin ulcer (sore) with a black center, swollen lymph nodes among others. He also explained that Anthrax is a preventable disease by vaccines and can be treated with antibiotics, however specific control procedures on infected carcasses disposal are necessary to contain the disease and prevent its spread. He also advised Muslims in Ghana to be mindful of the ruminants they will be sacrificing during the upcoming Eidul Adha celebration and must ensure that the animals are not infected and are vaccinated. He admonished patrons of meat to ensure the meet is well cooked before consumption.
Sheikh Dr. Taufiq Abdul Rahman Kulusey (Imam, Nurul Ameen Mosque) on his part said that Islam prescribes that in situations like this, Muslims follow the guidelines laid by health authorities in dealing with animals when there is an outbreak. He advised that everyone should ensure that the animal lthey will slaughter is certified by the appropriate authorities because as part of this act of worship, one is required to also share some of the meat to friends and families and this may spread the disease if the animal is infected. Sheikh Taufiq however cited that in the case where there is a nationwide ban on sale, slaughtering and consumption of animals because of an outbreak in order to protect human lives, the Islamic ruling on sacrificing an animal during Eidul Adha is waived by Islam. He also called on government to ensure that adequate measures are put in place to educate the public and vaccinate all ruminants ahead of the Eid celebration to prevent the spread of the disease.
A panelist on the show Mr. Bashiru Shehu (Sir Bash) the headmaster of Ibadurahman Academy SHS also contributing on the show said that all stakeholders whose duties are to ensure Ghanaians have wholesome meat must up their game in perfuming their duties. He also called on Muslims to take it upon themselves to confirm that the animals they buy are vaccinated. Another panelist Yusif Hamza (a banker) on his part said that sacrificing an animal during Eidul Adha is an act of worship but one needs to stay healthy to be able to worship the Almighty. He called on the Muslim community to be vigilant and not buy animals from smugglers who do not go through the approved procedures outline by authorities.