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‘Consider local East Coast Fever vaccine’

Posted in Dairy & Livestock

ZAMBIA - The Livestock Services Cooperative Society (LSCS) says Government should consider manufacturing the East Coast Fever vaccine locally to enable livestock farmers access the drug at an affordable price.

LSCS animal and production consultant David Daka cited the Central Veterinary Research Institute (CVRI) as an institution that needs to be recapitalised to enable it manufacture quality livestock vaccines locally that will be affordable and easily accessed by farmers.

Appearing before a parliamentary committee chaired by Mpongwe member of Parliament Gabriel Namulambe, which was looking at the Auditor General’s report, Mr Daka said the strain which causes East Coast Fever is widespread in Zambia and this makes it easier to produce one vaccine to combat the disease.

“Vaccination against East Coast Fever provides an alternative to dip tanks as long as the vaccine is readily available and affordable.

“The vaccine should be manufactured locally in large quantities at the CVRI to make it cost-effective, affordable and available when required,” he told the committee which discussed the management and control of livestock diseases and sustainable management of fish resources in natural waters.

Mr Daka said Government should also expedite the construction and rehabilitation of dip tanks in most parts of the country to help reduce disease outbreaks.

“Currently, most dip tanks in the country are dilapidated and non-functional. Rehabilitation and construction of dip tanks across the country to control East Coast Fever is proving to be expensive and unsustainable,” he said.

Earlier, LSCS veterinary consultant Geoffrey Zyambo said there is need to regularly use vaccines as a way of reducing livestock diseases.

Dr Zyambo observed that vaccines are cheaper compared to operating dip tanks.

“Vaccines go a long way in reducing livestock diseases. We have to start using vaccines than dip tanks in order to reduce these animal disease outbreaks,” he said.

February 4, 2016;