Veterinary Service laments the lack of vaccines to fight deadly anthrax disease

The District Director of the Veterinary Service in Bawku, Bonaventure Chiru is lamenting the absence of vaccines to fight the deadly anthrax disease as it continues to wreak havoc in the Upper East region. The disease which was confirmed in the region has adversely affected livestock farming and consumption.

Speaking to Starr News, the District Director said although they are doing their best to contain the spread of the disease, the short supply of the vaccines is worrying. “We are considering vaccinating all the animals within the outbreak areas. If we vaccinate all the animals even those that are incubating the materials will show signs and we can treat them or they will die and those that are not exposed, or incubating will develop the immunity and spread will be contained.

“The biggest challenge now is the vaccine, who is buying the vaccine is the problem. Because they have already declared that, that is going to be free. So the farmers are waiting for the free vaccines and the vaccines to are not coming, so that is our biggest challenge now.”

The District Director also cautioned residents in the outbreak areas to avoid consuming meat of livestock to avoid contracting the anthrax disease. On June 1, 2023, the Upper East Regional Health Directorate confirmed that one person has died of suspected anthrax in the Binduri District of the Upper East Region after eating the carcass of an anthrax-infected dead cow.

According to the Regional Health Directorate, four cows died of anthrax in one of the suburbs of Binduri (name withheld). In a press release, the Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Emmanuel Dzotse, said that his team has begun contact tracing of eleven people who are believed to have eaten the carcasses of the anthrax-infected cows.

“On June 1, 2023, the Regional Health Directorate received notification of two (2) suspected cases of anthrax with one death in Binduri District following the consumption of dead cattle. In all, four cattle have died in the affected community. So far eleven (11) suspected cases have been identified, and contact tracing efforts are underway in the affected community,” Dr. Dzotse said.

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