Government in January Disease vaccine breakthrough

Government in January Disease vaccine breakthrough

By Wellington Makonese

THE Department of Veterinary Technical Services has produced the first batch of vaccines for the January Disease, in a development set to boost the livestock sector.

At the height of the tick-borne disease outbreak that rocked the country in the past five years, around half a million cattle were lost before the introduction of the Presidential Tick Grease Programme which brought some relief to the livestock sector.

The Department of Veterinary Technical Services has gone a step further by processing the Theileriosis (BOLVAC) vaccine for January Disease as one of the critical components of the Integrated Ticks and Tick-borne Disease Control Strategy.

“We are excited to have made the breakthrough especially after what we experienced during the past few years. It’s a process that started decades but had been abandoned because of the lack of demand.

“The application of the vaccine is one of the measures set to boost livestock production under government’s Livestock Growth Plan,” said Dr Josphat Nyika, Chief Director in the Department of Veterinary Services.

“For 2022, we had targeted to produce 100 000 doses. We have managed 20 000 first and the remaining 80 000 in the next two months. But the thing is that we are now also able to produce for Anaplasmosis (gallsickness), Red water (Babesiosis) and Heartwater.

“This is exactly what is exposed in the government livestock growth and development plan as we look ahead to a prosperous economy by 2025.”

Since the inception of the Presidential Tick Grease Programme, the country has witnessed growth in livestock production as national herd grew from 5.4 million to 5.5 million in a year with the numbers expected to improve after administering of the vaccine and compulsory dipping.