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Measures to contain anthrax outbreak in place

BY: Samuel K. Obour

Alhaji Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan, Deputy Minister of Food and AgricultureThe government has taken stringent measures to contain the outbreak of anthrax, the Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan, has said.

“We have done all the necessary vaccinations and carried out all steps we need to take to ensure the outbreak is contained”

The Bawku West District in the Upper East Region in April, this year, imposed a ban on meat, following an outbreak of anthrax in the area.

The outbreak was reported to have killed about 20 cattle in the area.

Dr Alhassan gave the assurance on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the international training workshop on policy, advocacy and communication for reinforcing veterinary governance in Africa  in Accra yesterday.

The five-day workshop is being attended by participants from 29 English speaking African countries.

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Other participants are from regional organisations such as the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), East African Community (EAC), East African Federation (EAFF) Common Markets for Eastern and Central Africa, (COMESA), Inter-Governmental Development Authority (IGAD) and representatives from the African Union –Inter African Bureau for Animal Research.

The workshop seeks to strengthen the capacity of regional co-ordinators, national livestock focal points and other stakeholders in the value chain in policy analysis and formulation.

In a speech delivered on his behalf by the Regional Animal Production and Health Officer of the Food and Agriculture Organisation Regional Officer for Africa, Dr Chiek Ly, the Deputy Regional Representative for Africa Representative in Ghana, Dr Lamourdia Thiombiano, called for the strengthening of veterinary services by including relevant stakeholders in policy formulation and priorities to reduce their frequent marginalisation in the decision making process.

He said it was fundamental for the livestock sector to play its effective role in poverty reduction, food and nutrition security and wealth creation.

Dr Thiombiano expressed worry about the lack of adequate policy environment for sustainable livestock, which he said was  a major challenge facing the continent.

“If we take as example the distribution of the annual budget of livestock services, we can see that the budgetary provisions allocated in many countries is limited despite the significant contribution of the livestock sector to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fraction, he said.”

By Fred Dzakpata/Daily Graphic/Ghana