Minister warns DVOs on charging FMD Vaccination

The Minister of State for Animal Industry, Bright Rwamirama warned District Veterinary Officers (DVO) on proper vaccination exercise for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).

He made the remark on Monday 27th May while handing over 1,310,662 vaccine doses to 27 districts that reported outbreaks of foot and mouth disease (FMD) and are predominantly communal grazing, communal watering areas, and along the livestock transit making them at a big risk for the spread of the disease.

The districts that received vaccine doses include Serere, Tororo, Kumi, Wakiso, Mpigi, Bukomansimbi, Mityana, Bududa, Amuru, Mbale district, and City among others which will cover at least 60% of their cattle population.

Hon Rwamirama noted that the ministry allocated a 200 shilling payment to veterinary officers per each dose administered.

“Given that farmers will be paying for the vaccine and we should be paying the costs of administration, we have prepared money for you to vaccinate so please i warn you if you think this is your time to make business you are trending dangerously,” he highlighted.

The minister also remarked that every district in the cattle corridor has received adequate facilities for the cold chain to make sure that the vaccine is safe and therefore urged them to use the refrigerators for the purpose that has been given to them.

“I don’t want to find that some of the fridges and freezers have found their way into bars, so we shall follow you up and CAOs please take note that we want the vaccine to remain functional to make sure that it is administered when is still able to serve the purpose it’s given out,” hon Rwamirama added.

In conclusion, he also revealed that the ministry for every consignment, they are going to be procuring vehicles at least every district veterinary officer in the country gets a vehicle to make sure they administer.

Dr. James Kakungulu, the Assistant Commissioner in charge of Veterinary Regulation and Enforcement in the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries said that after handling these high-risk districts, the next target districts will be those that haven’t reported FMD but are neighboring the outbreak districts and then the rest of the FMD free districts will follow last.

On the issue of the vaccine cold chain, he noted that the ministry has been able to procure 260 fridges and freezers that are being delivered to store the vaccines at the recommended temperature.

“This will ensure that all animal vaccines will remain effective until they are inoculated into the animal bodies, thank you Hon Ministers and Permanent Secretary for the great work well done,” he remarked.

From October 2023 to date, more than 40 districts across the country have reported Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreaks.

MAAIF’s goal is to achieve the desired 80% herd immunity in the hotspot and high-risk areas. They started with 23 outbreak districts along the porous borders of Tanzania – Uganda, DRC – Uganda, and Kenya – Uganda when the ministry gave vaccines totaling 900,000 doses on the 6th of May 2024.

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