By Fred Kiva
KAMPALA. The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries plans to procure adequate stocks of Multi-valent Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine to scale up vaccination programs against the deadly livestock disease.
For three years now the cattle districts of Nakasongola, Nakaseke and Luweero have faced constant outbreak of FMD prompting government to place the area under quarantine.
Addressing journalists at the Uganda Media Centre on Wednesday, Minister of State for Animal husbandry, Joy Kabatsi said stocking of adequate vaccine was among the cabinet resolutions on Monday. This was after the Ministry presented information paper on the status of Foot and Mouth Disease and the efforts to prevent and control the outbreak.
“The Ministry shall procure from Botswana and Kenya and maintain adequate stocks of multi-valent FMD vaccine,” the Minister said.
She added that President Yoweri Museveni has also pledged an additional US Dollars 2million (about Shs7.4billion) to support local scientists expand vaccine production in Uganda.
Among other Cabinet resolutions according to Minister Kabatsi is collaboration between Uganda and Tanzania in harmonizing FMD vaccination programs. The Minister revealed that President Museveni will discuss the arrangement further with his Tanzanian counterpart, John Pombe Magufuli.
Leaders in the FMD ravaged areas of Nakasongola, Nakaseke and Luweero have since blamed the constant outbreak on porous borders. They claim that some infected animals are smuggled into the country from Tanzania.
Minister Kabatsi meanwhile urged District Veterinary Officers to always promptly report any new cases of Foot and Mouth Disease to the Commissioner Animal Health and submit samples to the laboratory.