Home News FAO strengthens partnership with Nigeria to check Anthrax spread

FAO strengthens partnership with Nigeria to check Anthrax spread

by Haruna Gimba

By Asmau Ahmad

The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) have expressed their readiness to partner to check and control the spread of Anthrax disease in the country.

Their partnership followed the anxiety created over the emergence of anthrax outbreak in Nigeria, following the report of two recently confirmed cases in Lagos State.

The Communications Officer FAO Nigeria, David Tsokar, made this known in a statement issued to newsmen in Abuja.

According to the statement, on July 13, a suspected case of Anthrax was reported in a mixed farm at Sabon Wuse, Niger State and a rapid response team was deployed by the federal government to collect samples and send to the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI) in Vom, Plateau state.

The presence of the disease was confirmed by the team and consequently, FMARD announced government’s plan to intervene and control its possible spread.

Mr Tsokar said the Director, Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services, (FDVPCS) in FMARD, Columba Vakuru, said the strategy of interventions include to quarantine the affected farm.

Other measures include the vaccination of susceptible animals around the infected farm, educating farm workers using the one-health approach, and planning statewide vaccination of susceptible animals.

The FAO Nigeria, through the Emergency Center for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD), was requested to provide the technical and financial support to the intervention strategy.

This has to be on logistics to the start-off of the risk-based nation-wide vaccination against Anthrax, which commenced last Friday, 22 July, in Suleja (Niger State), the local government where the first case was reported.

Subsequently, a nation-wide meeting with all Directors of Veterinary Services (DVS) from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory would be convened to fashion a comprehensive response to prevent, detect and respond to further spread of Anthrax to other parts of the country.

The FAO ECTAD Country Team Lead, Otto Muhinda, said that “the partnership is to be enhanced within the context of the One Health approach, and efforts would be sustained using a strong team of frontline experts, to prevent the spread of the disease to other parts of the country.

“With the support of USAID, we are pursuing our efforts to mobilise human and financial resources, including the Directors of Veterinary Services from the 36 states and FCT Abuja, to discuss the ongoing Anthrax outbreak and evaluate the preparedness of the States vis-à-vis the implementation of strategies to prevent spread of the disease into the country as well as put in place control measures.”

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