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It’s dangerous to use broom to mash ‘ewedu,’ gastroenterologist warns

Using a small bunch of broomsticks, known as ijabe, to mash ewedu (mallow -leaves ) is very common among Nigerians when preparing the slimy soup .

However , medical experts have said that the age-old practice is actually fraught with dangers .

Ewedu is also known as Rama ayoyo among Hausa , while the Igbo call it
Kerenkere .

Dr . Adegboyega Akere of the Department of Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan, on Wednesday, advised women and caterers to desist from the practice .

Akere, a Consultant Gastroenterologist, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan that food handlers should always use blender for ewedu and every other ingredient used in cooking it .
“ They should not use broom to mash the vegetable , ” he said.

Akere said this is because ewedu soup that is mashed with broomsticks could still retain splinters of the broom, however minute .

He said that when eaten , the splinters from the broomsticks could get trapped inside the oesophagus or the intestine .

Akere disclosed that someone who had eaten the soup containing a tiny piece of broomstick was rushed to the UCH recently .

“ The broomstick settled in her intestine and did not digest. This resulted in the inflammation of the intestine.

“ Two days after, the patient complained of severe stomach pains and a CT-Scan revealed that a broomstick was lodging inside her intestine .

“ A surgical operation was carried out and in less than 24 hours, the patient was on her feet moving about.

“ This clarion call is necessary because ewedu soup is the local soup of people in this part of Nigeria.

“ The locals prefer it to any other soup ; therefore , I will advise them to either blend or grind it on the stone before cooking , ” he said .
Akere also warned that when someone ingests strange objects, they could develop gastroenterology-related diseases .

“ Mothers must also be careful while preparing this soup , as it is the most common among the locals in weaning their babies , ” he warned. (NAN )

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