Vet Dept steps up vaccination campaign

23 Oct, 2020 - 00:10 0 Views
Vet Dept steps up vaccination campaign The anthrax outbreak in Chipinge district has left two villagers hospitalised after they consumed infected meat

The Herald

The Department of Veterinary Services said it was targeting to vaccinate 87 000 cattle in  Chipinge district this year, up from 14 000 last year.  The massive exercise is in response to an outbreak of anthrax in  Chibuwe, Dakate, Zamuchiya and Chisumbanje where at least 15 cattle  reportedly died last week.

These communities are close to wildlife  conservancies, considered a major source of livestock diseases. The outbreak also left two villagers hospitalised at St Peters Hospital  after they consumed meat suspected to have been infected with anthrax. The acting director, Division of Veterinary Services, Dr Felistas  Ndhlovu said the Government agency had embarked on a massive vaccination  exercise in the areas.

“Chipinge district is a designated anthrax zone where movement of  cattle is prohibited and receives annual vaccination for livestock to  curb the spread of diseases,” she said.

“The current vaccination exercise, which was now due, is targeting 87 000 herd of cattle, up from 14 000 vaccinated last year in October to  curb spread of anthrax to outlying areas,” she added.

Dr Ndhlovu said the department faced the challenge of farmers in the district  failing to bring their cattle for vaccination for one reason or the  other.

“These difficulties in failing to bring all local cattle mean that  there are gaps in our annual vaccinations. We usually make quick  responses after persons who consume contaminated meat develop symptoms  of anthrax. Late reporting by locals is also a challenge,” she said.

Provincial Development Co-ordinator, Edgars Seenza said the Civil  Protection Unit (CPU) was working closely with the local leadership and  Department of Veterinary  Services to identify hot spots.

“We have received those reports from our local structures and we have  since responded as the Civil Protection Unit and dispatched a team which  is now on the ground,” said Mr Seenza, who is also the head of CPU in  Manicaland province.

“The situation is now under control. The two villagers who were  hospitalised have since been discharged. We also rolled out an awareness  programme to conscientise the locals about the dangers of consuming meat  from an anthrax infected animal,” he said.

Anthrax is caused by a spore forming bacterium. It mainly affects  animals. Humans can be infected through contact with an infected animal  or inhaling spores. — New Ziana.

Share This:

Sponsored Links