The Federal Government has supported Edo and other states in the South South geo-political Zone with over 1.8 million free vaccines to curtail the spread of trans boundary diseases in Nigeria,
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, in a statement by Mrs Anthonia Eremah, the Assistant Information Officer, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, on Thursday said the gesture was in furtherance to the Federal Government’s commitment to curtail the spread of trans boundary animal diseases in Nigeria.
The minister revealed this during the ceremony of the 2022 Nationwide Free Mass Vaccination Campaign against Transboundary Animal Diseases in Benin.
Abubakar, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture ad Rural Development, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, said the transboundary Animal Diseases (TADs) such as Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP), Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Peste Des Petits Ruminants (PPR) and Newcastle Disease (ND) were affecting the livestock population.
The minister said to achieve the much-desired herd immunity for prevention, control and possibly eradication, the livestock population ought to be adequately vaccinated.
He said that Livestock production was a major means of livelihood in Nigeria which employed about 70 per cent of Nigeria’s population, food nutrition and security as well as means of livelihood for majority of her rural dwellers
He said that livestock supplied the much-needed protein for growth and mental development of “our children, spendable income and the by-products from these animals like hides and skin are used for the production of belts, shoes among other things”.
Abubakar said that the ministry has policies and national programme for the control of these diseases.
“While it is the policy for routine vaccination for all diseases, it is our policy as a country not to vaccinate against Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, also known as Bird flu.
“Over the years, the policy of CBPP, FMD, PPR and ND control in Nigeria has been routine annual vaccination.
“However, the vaccination coverage has been limited by inadequate resources. But going forward, we intend to scale up vaccination coverage as more resources become available,” he said.
He urged development partners and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to key into the initiative by supporting the states with more vaccines and the logistics needed to carry out the mass vaccination in the country.
He said that the exercise should be taken as a call to national service and to give it the best attention that it deserves, as Nigeria joins other nations of the world to control and eradicate these dreaded diseases of cattle, poultry, sheep and goat from the nation’s herd.
The Acting Governor of Edo, Mr Philip Shaibu, who was represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Mr Stephen Idenhere, commended the effort of the Federal Government in controlling animal diseases across the nation.
“I call on all states within the South South region to join hands in the battle as animal disease control is a collective responsibility,” he said.
The Director, Federal Department of Veterinary and Pest Control, and Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria, Dr Maimuna Habib, said that the ministry would continue to support and collaborate with states to ensure the good health of livestock in Nigeria through the provision of vaccines, trainings, disinfectants and veterinary drugs as much as possible.
She said that the ministry intended to do the same in other remaining three geopolitical zones (South-East, South-West & North-Central) of the country, having carried out similar exercise in Jigawa and Gombe States.