In a swift move to guard against the spread of Anthrax disease in the nation’s Capital, the Federal Capital Territory Administration, ( FCTA) has commenced vaccination of cattles against anthrax disease in the territory.
At the flag off ceremony in Paikon-Kore, Gwagwalada Area Council, Abuja, the Acting Secretary Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Mallam Abubakar Sadeeq said the vaccination would prevent an outbreak of the disease as well as ensure public health safety in the territory.
Mallam Sadeeq said the Permanent Secretary FCTA, Mr Olusade Adesola had approved the purchase of large quantities of Anthrax vaccines which scientists have identified as most effective in preventing the disease.
He said over one million cattle are targeted for the vaccination that would be carried out by FCT veterinary doctors in designated centres across the 62 wards of the Six Area Councils .
“We are going to major Fulani settlements, and for easy coverage, they have arrangements with motorcycles that would convey them to all the nooks and crannies of the FCT…and about two weeks ago, it was confirmed to be in Suleja, Niger State, which is a stone throw away from FCT. In order to be proactive, approval was granted by the FCTA Permanent Secretary, for the purchase of the vaccines, which we procured immediately, and decided to commence the vaccination of all the animals in the FCT.”
Mallam Sadeeq appealed for the cooperation of livestock owners particularly those who own cows, goats, horses and other animals that have been classified as potential carrier with the veterinary health workers, to ensure the success of the vaccination exercise.
“Our veterinary personnel have been put on alert in order to attend to any emergency cases, we will be working closely with the Health and Human Services Secretariat to attend to cases involving livestock owners” Sadeeq said.
Also, Director of Veterinary FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Dr Regina Adulugba described Anthrax as a deadly disease to both animals and humans, which can be contracted through open wounds, airborne and from consuming infected animals.
She assured that the Veterinary clinics are widely opened and Vet doctors deployed to vaccinate all animals free of charge against anthrax within the next four weeks, as well as arrangements to cover hard to reach settlements.
She warned them not to sell or slaughter any animal suspected to have any of the symptoms, but report such cases to any of the FCT Veterinary Clinics.
“It is deadly because it is zoonotic. Zoonotic means it can affect humans and it can affect animals. So, it is dangerous, and it can be spread by too many means…it can affect the wound and then infect the person, or it can spread even through the air, or from consumption of meat.That is why we advised them not to slaughter any sick animal for now.”
The Chairman, Abuja chapter of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association Nigeria (MACBAN), Malam Yahaya Isa, commended FCTA for the proactive steps and appealed to the ARDS staff to maintain standard practice towards achieving the desired objective.
“on behalf of the entire Fulani community all over FCT we are very pleased and happy with what is happening today, as no state has taken the first step like Abuja (FCT) and I assure you that we are fully prepared to comply with whatever the arrangement they have put in place”.
Remi Johnson, Edited By Grace Namiji
Written by: Kevin Nwabueze
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