Anthrax: FMARD Donates 50,000 Doses Of Vaccines To LASG

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The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has donated 50,000 doses of Anthrax vaccines to the Lagos State Government in the fight against the disease.


FMARD in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of United Nations embarked on a three-day sensitisation visit to the state Ministry of Agriculture to prevent the spread the disease, on Tuesday.



The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the team paid a courtesy visit to the permanent secretary and the Cattle Market Abattoir at Oko-oba Agege.


The Permanent Secretary of FMARD, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, represented by the Deputy director, Dr AbdulKareem Durosinlorun, said the sensitisation and donation of the vaccines was part of the ministry’s efforts to contain the disease outbreak.


“As some of us are aware, there has been a confirmed outbreak of Anthrax disease in the country, in Niger and Lagos states.


“So, the essence of our visit is to create awareness and sensitisation among stakeholders in the prevention and control of diseases in Nigeria.


“We have also provided 50,000 free dosage of the Anthrax vaccine to the state in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FOA) of the United Nations.


“The Agege Oko-oba cattle market and abattoir is one of the biggest markets in the state.


“The cattle merchants and butchers need to know the symptoms and signs of this disease so that they can immediately alert the veterinary authorities.


“We met with the permanent secretary of agriculture in the state and she has assured us that vaccination has started,” Umakhihe said.


In her response, Mrs Ibironke Emokpae, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, appreciated FMARD’s support in curbing the spread of the Anthrax disease.


“We appreciate FMARD and the FAO and we are glad to receive 50,000 dosage of the Anthrax vaccine to prevent the spread of the disease.


“Vaccinations have began in the state and we have set up surveillance and biosecurity at point of entries of abattoirs in Lagos to detect any ailing animal.


“We are collaborating with the Lagos Ministry of Health and promise to put in more efforts to prevent the spread of the disease,” Emokpae said.


Dr Otto Muhinda, the Nigeria Country Team Leader, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, also commended the government for its initiatives in creating awareness of the disease and prevention.


“We are here to accompany the government in this outbreak monitoring.


“We have seen that awareness is very high, we appreciate the way the people, the local authorities, butchers and the cattle merchants are aware of this outbreak.


“We look forward to continue the monitoring in other states, we need to  sensitise more stakeholders on national level for a national strategy to stop the spread of the disease.


“We are satisfied about what the government is doing,” Muhinda said.


In his reaction, Alhaji Abdullahi Lalega, the chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Association, Oko-oba/Agege cattle market, said the cattle merchants and butchers are ready to corporate with government in the fight against the disease.


“When we first heard of the outbreak of the Anthrax disease, the veterinary doctors from Ministry of Agriculture came to educate us and sensitise us in how to detect the disease in cattle.


“So, we have called our cattle merchants and dealer and informed of what is happening in the country. And to ensure they buy healthy cows from where source their cattle.


“We have told our members to beware in order to prevent the disease spread and also to work closely with the veterinary doctors.


“So, we lecture our people and everybody agreed that we should support the doctors to do their work and where we see a cow we are not satisfied with, we show them to check it out,” Lalega said.


Dr Emeka Asiegbu, of the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), said all hands are on deck in continuous enlightenment against Anthrax disease.


“What we are doing now is the right thing to do at this moment because the outbreak just started, about three weeks ago and we are already kicking off actions in various states.


“We are in Lagos today is work in progress because there are a lot of things that we have in mind to do with time as we are going into this programme.


“For now, I will say the awareness is becoming more popular or more widespread but there is still more enlightenment we need to do, going forward,” Asiegbu said.





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