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13,000 doses of FMD vaccines lie idle in Nakaseke district

Government dispatches FMD vaccines to Nakaseke district. File Photo

Nakaseke, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | More than 13,000 jabs that were dispatched to Nakaseke district to vaccinate cattle against Foot and Mouth Disease are still lying idle.

Early this year, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, and Fisheries dispatched a total of 20,000 doses of vaccines to Nakaseke district to enable pastoralists to vaccinate their heads of cattle against Foot and Mouth Disease.

Fred Rwabirinda, the Nakaseke District Secretary for Production explains that the district has been able to administer only 7,000 doses and the 13,000 doses are still lying idle just a month before they expire.

Rwabirinda says that the pastoralists had been reluctant to vaccinate their animals but the district has directed veterinary officers to conduct mandatory vaccinations so that they can utilize all the vaccines before they expire.

Joel Mwine Bashaija, the district councillor for Ngoma sub-county says that the pastoralists shunned the vaccination exercise because vaccines were brought during the dry season and the animals’ immunity was low due to lack of pasture and water.

Bashaija said that others feared that animals may even die if they vaccinate them around this dry season.

Jonah Kanyomozi, the district councilor for Ngoma town council says that other pastoralists also feared that due to low immunity over drought season, some animals may experience pregnancy losses.

Ignatius Koomu Kiwanuka, the LCV chairperson of Nakaseke district says that some pastoralists are reluctant to vaccinate their animals because there is no reported FMD outbreak in the area.

However, Koomu says that the rainfall has since set in, and they have directed that no animal should be sold within cattle markets before vaccination as a strategy to compel pastoralists to embrace the exercise.

The sub-counties of Kinyogogga, Ngoma, Kinoni, and Ngoma town council among others in Nakaseke suffer losses of revenue annually over quarantines imposed over the repeated outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease.

It is believed that each month, the local governments lose more than 11 million shillings from cattle markets due to the quarantines.

Vaccination is the major strategy to save pastoralists and local governments from losses.

Foot and Mouth Disease is a severe, highly contagious viral disease.  The virus causes illness in cows, pigs, sheep, goats, deer, and other animals with divided hooves.

An infected animal presents with loss of appetite, sticky or foamy saliva, reluctance to move, fever, and blisters on the tongue, mouth, and foot.



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