Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry (MAAIF) has procured two million four hundred thousand (2,400,000) doses of FMD vaccine directly from manufacturers for animal vaccination against Foot and Mouth disease (FMD).
FMD vaccine is procured by MAAIF and provided to the farmers through the District Veterinary Officers (DVO) free of charge.
The Chief Administrative Officers (CAO) shall provide necessary facilitation, fuel and allowances required for vaccination.
In Uganda, the livestock population estimates are; cattle 12.1 million heads, goats 15.2 million heads, sheep 5.4 million and pigs 5 million, which translates to 37.7 million livestock (Annual Agriculture Survey 2018) that are susceptible to FMD.
This is in addition to the wild life that are susceptible to FMD and the fact that there are four serotypes that are common in Uganda. Hon. Bright Rwamirama (MP) the Minister of State, Animal Industry Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries says FMD control is complex and therefore needs a lot of resources; human, structural, consumables and financial to control the disease.
He adds that the ministry employs strategic (Ring) vaccination to control FMD. The Ring vaccination strategy entails vaccinating herds surrounding the focal herd(s) (where the infection has occurred), and ending up vaccinating the focal herd(s). The focal herd(s) must be vaccinated with exception of clinically sick animals to avoid spread within the herd(s).
FMD vaccination is currently being undertaken in 24 districts that include; Gomba, Isingiro, Kalungu, Kampala, Kazo, Kiboga, Kiruhura, Kiryandongo, Kyankwanzi, Kyotera Koboko, Lyantonde, Mbarara, Masindi, Mukono, Nakaseke, Nakasongola, Rakai, Rubirizi, Sembabule, Ibanda and Serere. Vaccination is also being undertaken at the Government NEC Farm.
“The District Veterinary Officer will collect the FMD vaccine from MAAIF, and transport to the district and to the farms ensuring that the cold chain is maintained. Vaccinations shall be undertaken by only government personnel, and an accountability will be provided to MAAIF, including the telephone contact of the farmer. A form to capture this data has already been provided to the District Veterinary Officers” the minister says.
At farm level, farmers with affected herds should ensure hygienic milking methods, promptly report the disease to the nearest veterinarian and alert his/ her neighbours about it, have effective on farm biosecurity, have the affected animals isolated from the rest of the herd, have His/ Her farm properly fenced and not allow his/her animals like cattle, goats sheep or pigs to move out of his farm to other peoples’ farms or grazing areas.
Farmers should also avoid taking their animals to the communal grazing and watering areas and the neighbours should avoid communal grazing and watering during the time of FMD outbreaks, should not allow visitors to move freely in and out of his/ her farm, the neighbours’ animals like goats and should never be allowed to enter and graze in the affected farm and affected animals should be properly treated by a competent veterinarian using appropriate drugs to avoid secondary bacterial infections and complications
Minister Rwamirama further advised livestock farmers and the general public to take note of these control measures that have been put in place by the Government through the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries to address the Foot and Mouth Disease in affected districts.
Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is a viral disease that affects cattle, goats, sheep and pigs among the domestic animals. It also affects the related cloven (two) hooved wild animals like the buffaloes, antelopes and wild pigs. The virus has seven serotypes, each of which presents as a different disease with similar clinical signs.