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Livestock farmers in Tooro puzzled by drug resistant ticks

Kabarole, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The National Drugs Authority-NDA has embarked on training extension workers and livestock farmers in the Rwenzori region on rational use of drugs following farmers’ complaints about drug resistance.

The training comes at a time when livestock farmers in Kabarole district are troubled by the continued resistance of livestock to drugs meant to treat their animals.

Farmers say the drugs on the market are not only resistant to insects, but also cause severe blindness, miscarriage, low production, and death of cattle in some cases.

The farmers in Rwengaju model village said most of the drugs on the market are not effective and very little effort has been registered by the government to find out how the drugs access the markets.

Mzee Mabiiho, a farmer in Rwengaju says ticks and disease control remains a major challenge in the sub-county. He and other farmers want the government to organize more regular training to equip them with basic knowledge to look after their animals with fewer challenges.

Alexander Kikwaya, the Chief Administrative Officer Kabarole says whereas complaints are overwhelming, there is nothing much the district can do to curb the challenge. He says the government has the responsibility to regulate drugs that are sold on the market.

Steven Ssemakalu, the regulatory officer at NDA said the problem stems from farmers who wrongly administer drugs to animals through self-medication, in addition to the poor storage of drugs. He adds that farmers tend to expose drugs to unnecessary heat instead of keeping the drugs in a cool dry place hence the resistance.

“In some cases, farmers mix acaricides with animal drugs, and this at times causes skin diseases to animals because they are not meant for the animals but for plants” Ssemakalu added.

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