Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister of Agricultural, Animals Industry and Fisheries, has called upon East African Community member states to collaborate on preventive measures for Transboundary Animal Diseases (TADs) and zoonotic outbreaks. Speaking at a Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) training workshop in Kampala, Tumwebaze emphasized the need for joint efforts to mitigate risks posed by these diseases.
Tumwebaze highlighted the importance of recognizing the role of private sector actors in the livestock sector, especially as countries maintain their borders. He stressed that factors affecting livestock health transcend borders, necessitating a collective approach to addressing challenges. Tumwebaze noted that government resources for vaccine procurement and vaccination campaigns fall short of requirements due to resource constraints. He welcomed the involvement of the private sector in disease control efforts.
The workshop brought together delegates from Uganda and Tanzania, both of which have been engaged in discussions to tackle disease challenges. Dr. Oscar Mbyuzi, the acting director of veterinary services in Tanzania, emphasized the need for harmonized prevention measures, particularly for foot and mouth disease. He highlighted the challenge of controlling animal diseases and called for governments to align their prevention strategies.
Foot and Mouth Disease has affected around 40 districts in Uganda, primarily in the cattle corridor. Despite the outbreak, stakeholders noted a lack of strict enforcement of quarantine and livestock movement bans. Experts in the livestock sector are advocating for an investigation into various strains of the FMD virus to prevent further outbreaks. They emphasized the importance of identifying virus serotypes before implementing blanket vaccination solutions, which could potentially complicate disease management efforts.
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