Kimberly Rosen (2nd from right), Ghana Mission Director of USAID, presenting the vaccines to Dr Benita Anderson (2nd from left), Deputy National Director of Veterinary Services, and Hawa Musah (left), Northern Regional Director of Agriculture, Kpallaung, Northern Region
Kimberly Rosen (2nd from right), Ghana Mission Director of USAID, presenting the vaccines to Dr Benita Anderson (2nd from left), Deputy National Director of Veterinary Services, and Hawa Musah (left), Northern Regional Director of Agriculture, Kpallaung, Northern Region
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USAID donates 100,000 anthrax vaccines to govt

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has donated 100,000 doses of anthrax vaccines to the government.

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The vaccines were procured from the Vaccine Production Unit of the Central Veterinary Laboratory in Pong-Tamale in the Northern Region as part of efforts to boost local production.

The vaccines would help augment the government's planned mass vaccination campaign against anthrax in the country this year.

The exercise is expected to cover over one million animals across the five regions of the north. 

In May 2023, there was an outbreak of anthrax, a bacterial disease that affects livestock and humans in parts of the Upper East Region, where one person died.

A number of livestock also died in the process.

It was eventually contained following a mass vaccination campaign by the government.

Launch

The Ghana Mission Director of USAID, Kimberly Rosen, presented the vaccines at the launch of a mass anthrax vaccination campaign at Kpallaung, a farming community in the Savelugu Municipality.

It was on the theme, "Ending anthrax outbreaks through annual mass vaccination campaign".  

Ms Rosen said anthrax does not only threaten animals and human lives, but also food security and  economic prosperity.

She said about 75 per cent of emerging infectious diseases originated from animals globally, adding that many people around the world were living in proximity to animals due to deforestation, climate change among other factors. 

Ms Rosen said cattle, sheep and goats should be prioritised for the vaccination because they had high risk of transmitting the disease to human beings as compared to other animals. 

While reiterating the US government's continue support to Ghana, she advised the public, particularly farmers to ensure their animals were fully vaccinated to prevent an outbreak.

Commendation 

For her part, the Deputy National Director of Veterinary Services, Dr Benita Anderson, lauded the USAID for the intervention. 

She said anthrax also threatened livelihood of farmers and safety of the food supply chain of the country.

Beyond the vaccination campaign, she said her outfit would step up other proactive measures to protect livestock and prevent the outbreak of the disease.

She added that they would in the coming days also roll out vaccination plan for all communities in the five regions.

The Northern Regional Director of Agriculture, Hawa Musah, advised the public to present their animals for vaccination.

Writer's email:[email protected]

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