The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), says it will collaborate with the Federal Government to fight diseases associated with animals following two cases of anthrax reported in Nigeria.
Dr Otto Muhinda, Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) country team leader of FAO said this on Wednesday.
Muhinda spoke at the consultative meeting of stakeholders with the Federal Department of Veterinary and Pest Control services on the prevention and control of anthrax in Nigeria.
He said FAO had put in place measures to curtail the spread of anthrax in other parts of the country by embarking on a risk communication and risk-based vaccination exercises in the affected states.
He disclosed that last week another case was reported and confirmed in Lagos, adding that FAO had advocated for house-to-house vaccination of cows and small ruminants.
“This is beside the awareness creation on the dangers of the disease to meet value chain operators in some major markets in Lagos, ” he said.
He said though, the farmers were aware of the danger of the disease but there was the need for them to encourage vaccination on all animals to stop the spread of the disease.
Muhinda said that veterinary officers in affected areas needed to know how to package and transport the samples collected to the laboratory without spreading the disease.
Speaking, Dr Columba Vakuru, Director/Chief Veterinary Officer, who represented the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Ernest Umakhihe called for proper handling of the disease.
He said the Ministry in partnership with other stakeholders had embarked on awareness creation to prevent the disease from getting into either the farms, houses or livestock markets.
“We want the public to be aware and be conscious of where they get their products for consumption and for other uses.
“This is to avoid the risk of getting in contact with an infected animal or animal product,” he said.
Vakuru revealed that about 34 animals have died since the outbreak of the disease mainly from Niger and Lagos.
Mr Othman Ngelzarma, National President of Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), commended FMARD, FAO and other stakeholders for being proactive on the issue of anthrax
According to him, when I first heard of anthrax in Ghana, I was so disturbed, because I know soon it will be in Nigeria, because of the transhuman roots and pastoral free movement across the ECOWAS countries.
“I like to commend the FMARD for ensuring that all Goes are vaccinated.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the outbreak of Anthrax in the country, followed the confirmation of an index case in Sabon Wuse, Niger State and later Lagos State.