28 May 2012

Ghana: Anthrax Kills Two At Balungu, Vaccination Exercise On Hold

Photo: ILRI
In sub-Saharan Africa 99.9 percent of livestock losses do not appear in official disease reports.

After veterinary officers in the Upper East Region had successfully brought anthrax under control in the Bawku West District, the disease has surfaced in the Bongo District, killing two persons.

The Regional Veterinary Officer, Dr. Thomas Anyorikeya, who confirmed the outbreak and the deaths of the two persons to The Chronicle, explained that a cow died at Nabiisi, a section of Balunugu in the Bongo district, and the meat was consumed by some community people.

He said after consumption, three persons, including a woman, were taken ill and sent to the hospital. One of the men and the woman later died.

According to the officer, a combined team of veterinary officers, health, and Zoomlion workers later retrieved and buried the remaining meat.

Dr. Anyorikeya said since the outbreak of the disease in that district, 2,700 livestock had been vaccinated. However, he regretted that the vaccination exercise had come to a halt, following the failure of the Bongo District Assembly and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to approve a budget submitted to them by the District Veterinary Officer for fuel and working allowances.

He said his personnel in the district had to use their own resources, including money for fuel, to go round to vaccinate the animals. Having exhausted their meagre resources on the exercise, Dr. Anyorikey said, the personnel could no longer continue with the vaccination.

He is, therefore, worried that if immediate steps are not taken to release money for the exercise to continue, it could spell doom for both residents and their livestock, as the disease could spread faster.

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