Government is seeking about Shs76 billion ($20 million) to purchase 10 million doses of vaccines against Foot and Mouth Disease, as the outbreak continues to ravage more than 30 districts. This was revealed by the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, Mr. Frank Tumwebaze while updating Members of Parliament on the outbreak of the disease in the cattle corridor.
The Minister informed MPs that 36 districts currently remain under quarantine while neighboring high-risk areas are under strict surveillance.
He further stated that an estimated 44 million livestock require vaccination, necessitating an annual stock of 88 million doses for bi-annual vaccinations. However, due to financial constraints, the government can currently only afford to vaccinate 1.1% of this population.
“Our ministry adopted the ring vaccination methodology targeting locations with animals at high risk. When we buy the vaccines annually, the budget we have gives us half a million doses. We distribute them to district veterinary officers of most prone districts to carry out vaccination around the infected herds or kraals,” Mr Tumwebaze said.
In response to legislators’ suggestions to allow farmers purchase vaccines independently, Mr. Tumwebaze informed them that government is considering this option and is awaiting cabinet approval.