3 March 2017

Uganda: Govt Monitoring Reported Bird Flu Cases in East, Western Uganda

Two more districts Budaka and Kisoro are under surveillance following reports of suspected cases of avian influenza.

Scientists in the ministry of agriculture revealed that laboratory tests confirmed the presence of avian influenza -commonly known as bird flu- in samples sent from eastern Uganda district of Budaka and the south western district of Kisoro.

The Director for Animal Resources in the ministry of agriculture Dr. Juliet Ssentumbwe said after the initial discovery, surveillance and an awareness campaign was set up, and no new cases have been registered.

"In all the reports we have received about the wild birds dying, we have gone out to test and we shall continue testing to ascertain whether the flu has been contained," said Ssentumbwe.

"We are also going to support training of staff in our laboratories in all to continue assessing until when we shall declare that the fight has been won," said Ssentumbwe during the handover of diagnostic kits and personal protective equipment from Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) at the NARO Secretariat in Entebbe.

The outbreak of avian influenza in Uganda was first reported in January this year and killed at least 1200 wild birds on the shores of Lake Victoria in Wakiso, Masaka and Kalangala.

FAO Country Representative Alhajji Jallow said the disease has a great impact on the economy and the tourism sector hence need to jointly fight the outbreak.

Government in talks over poultry ban

Government is meanwhile in talks with four neighboring countries to lift the ban on importation of chicken and poultry products from Uganda.

This was disclosed by the assistant commissioner veterinary diagnostics and epidemiology in the ministry of agriculture Dr. Anna Rose Ademun who noted that a team from Kenya is in the country to assess the situation before lifting the ban

Kenya, Rwanda, DRC and Tanzania banned chicken and poultry products from Uganda following the outbreak of avian influenza early this year.

Government declares tick outbreak

Government has also declared an outbreak of ticks in seven more districts bringing the total number of districts affected to 23.

State minister for agriculture in charge of animal husbandry Joy Kafula Kabatsi revealed that the ticks are affecting thousands of heads of cattle mainly in south western districts and Karamoja.

Kabatsi noted that the problem of ticks has been registered in Lyantonde, Rakai, Mpigi, Ssembabule, Kyankwazi, Mpigi, Gomba, Bushenyi and that efforts by the government are underway to address the problem.

"The ticks have become a big problem because of the way animals move. Originally we had 16 districts having the problem of ticks but more 7 districts are reported to have now joined the tick resistance. We want to clean the herds and we hope that by the end of the month, we shall have started," said Kabatsi.

Food and Agricultural Organization Country Representative Jallow said they have finalized a wrap up vaccination against other common livestock diseases in Karamoja region.

"We have vaccinated 200,000 herds of cattle against foot and mouth disease, 35,000 thousand herds of cattle against pneumonia among others" said Jallow.



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