US government donates 100,000 anthrax vaccines to support vaccination campaign in Ghana

Anthrax vaccine

The United States government, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), has donated 100,000 doses of anthrax vaccine in support of the government and Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) anthrax vaccination campaign in the country.  

The anthrax vaccination campaign is expected to cover about one million animals across the five regions in the northern part of the country.  

Miss Kimberly Rosen, USAID/Ghana Mission Director, who announced this during the launch of the anthrax vaccination campaign at Savelugu in the Northern Region, said, “Anthrax not only threatens human life. When it destroys livestock, it also threatens economic prosperity and food security.” 

Before the launch, Ms Rosen and partners from FAO toured the Vaccine Production Unit of the Central Veterinary Laboratory at Pong-Tamale.  

She said, “During our tour of the Central Veterinary Laboratory, it was clear that with some automation and more investment, the Laboratory could produce larger quantities of vaccines to meet the national market and also for export. More vaccines mean healthier animals, safer humans and potential revenue and job creation for the Veterinary Service Department.” 

Anthrax is a serious, potentially life-threatening infectious disease that is passed from animals to humans.                      

Vaccination campaigns of animals like cattle, sheep, and goats, prevent the disease from occurring in animals thereby reducing the risk of transmission to humans. 

In May, 2023 the country experienced an outbreak of anthrax, which affected six districts in the Upper East Region where a total of 97 animals died from the outbreak. 

A total of 13 suspected human anthrax cases were detected including one death. 

The government and its partners worked quickly to contain the outbreak.  

To prevent future outbreaks, yearly animal vaccination is recommended, hence the launch of the campaign.  

Dr Emmanuel Cudjoe, Chief Veterinary Officer, whose speech was read on his behalf, said the launch marked a significant milestone in ongoing efforts to safeguard the health and well-being of the nation’s livestock and communities.  

He said, “Anthrax is a deadly disease that not only poses a grave risk to the health of our animals but also threatens the livelihoods of our farmers and the safety of our food supply. But today, we stand united in our resolve to confront this threat head-on.” 

He urged residents to support the campaign to ensure success.  

Source: GNA 

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