The Federal Government said it has donated free 50,000 doses of Anthrax vaccines to the Lagos State Government to curtail the spread of anthrax disease.
Assistant Director, Information, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Ezeaja Ikemefuna, disclosed this in a statement issued on Monday.
He said that this was to mitigate the spread of the anthrax disease to animals and humans as well as to ensure the safety of the livestock sub-sector.
Ikemefuna said that the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, who spoke at the event, said that the donation of the vaccines would fast-track the vaccination of animals against anthrax disease.
This would also ensure that butchers sell healthy meat as well as safeguard the livestock sub-sector.
According to the statement, the permanent secretary was represented by the Deputy Director, Veterinary and Pests Control, Dr Abdulkareem Durosinlorun.
He said that anthrax was an infectious zoonosis disease, caused by bacteria that affects both domestic and wild animals and could also affect humans especially, those working closely with infected animals.
Umakhihe said that the bacteria which exist as spores, could be found in the soil, wool or hair of infected animals.
He explained that animals could be infected when they breathe in or ingest spores in contaminated soil, plant or water and humans could get it when they inhale or breathe in the spores.
The permanent secretary said that humans could also get infected when they eat contaminated meat, or come in contact with the skin through wounds or cuts while handling a sick or dead anthrax-infected animal.
Umakhihe appealed to the State Government for robust public awareness and sensitization engagement among stakeholders towards prevention and control of the disease in Lagos.
- “The essence of our visit is to create awareness and sensitization among stakeholders in the prevention and control of disease in the country. We have also provided 50,000 free dosages of the Anthrax vaccine to the state in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations.
- “The cattle merchants and butchers need to know the symptoms and signs of this disease so that they can immediately alert the veterinary authorities,’’ he said.
He underscored the need to mount surveillance in slaughter slabs, abattoirs, livestock markets, and at the points of entry in the state to detect the disease early before it spreads.
In a remark, the Permanent Secretary of Lagos State Ministry for Agriculture, Mrs. Ibironke Emokpae, appreciated the federal government for its support in curtailing the spread of the anthrax disease in the state.
- “Vaccinations have begun in the state and we have set up surveillance and biosecurity at points of entry of abattoirs in Lagos to detect any ailing animal. We are collaborating with the Lagos Ministry for Health and promise to put in more effort to prevent the spread of the disease.
- “Lagos state has developed a house-to-house vaccination campaign because it is an urban area where some people do urban farming, Lagos is taking the vaccination campaign to urban livestock farmers,’’ she said.