See why Government does not want you to Eat ‘Ponmo’

Ponmo is in the news again, but not for the right reasons as the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as well as some state governments, has advised Nigerians to stop consuming ‘ponmo’ because of the recent anthrax outbreak in West Africa

See why Government does not want you to Eat ‘Ponmo’

What is ponmo in English?

Ponmo is called Cow skin in English, it is a favourite beef part enjoyed as a side dish, snack and condiments in south-western Nigeria.

Ponmo is also known as kpomo, kanda, pomo, which is a kind of meat that is made from the cow skin or hide. The cow hide is first removed and then boiled until it is soft. Once it is soft, it is cut into small pieces and then fried. Ponmo is popular in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.

Ponmo (Cow Skin) contains a lot of collagens which prevents body wrinkles and it’s the most abundant protein in our bodies. The meat is a good weight loss substitute because it contains fewer calories and tastes nice when properly cooked in dishes.


“ The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development at this moment alerts the general public on the outbreak of anthrax in some neigbouring  countries within West Africa sub-region; specifically, Northern Ghana bordering Burkina Faso and Togo,” read a statement by the permanent secretary of the Ministry.

Anthrax is caused by bacterium called Bacillus anthracis. The bacterium infests herbivorous such as cattle, goats and sheep. Their spores can be found where these herbivores graze. You can contract anthrax if you handle infested animals or come in contact with their hides.

Anthrax spores are very resistant and can stay in the soil for long. Animals can pick up the spores and contract the infection, which they can pass on to humans through their hides and wool.

More than 90% of human anthrax cases are transmitted via the skin. The spores can enter through cuts on your skin to cause local injuries around the entry point. The infection starts within two to three days after exposure to the spores. It develops into painless but itchy rashes across your arms, legs, and face.

You can also contract the disease if you eat the hides of infested animals. ‘ponmo’ from an infected cow can transmit anthrax to you if you eat it raw or undercooked.

You can have face and neck swelling, and lesions around your mouth and throat two to five days later. In severe caes, you may have difficulties breathing.

Herders, meat sellers, farmers, and anyone handling cows, rams, and sheep are particularly at risk of contracting anthrax through the air. The bacterium’s spores are tiny, light, and invisible. People around animals and their hides can inhales the spores and contract the disease.

Thankfully, anthrax is not contagious. An infected person can’t transmit it to you. The condition is only transmitted from infected animals to humans.

Anthrax can be treated with antibiotics. If you suspect you have been exposed to anthrax spores, wash your body with soap and water and see a doctor. Infected persons often recover after a few days of treatment.

Anthrax is preventable. You can vaccinate uninfected animals with anthrax spore vaccines from the National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom, Plateau State.

Lastly, the ministry advised that ‘infected dead animals should be buried deep in the soil along with the equipment used in the burial after applying chemicals that kill the anthrax spores.’

You should desist from the consumption of hides (ponmo), smoked meat and bush meat, until the situation is brought under control.