Local production of livestock vaccines on course

By John Nhandara

ZIMBABWE’S livestock vaccines manufacturing initiative is progressing well, with the setting up of a bio safety laboratory in Harare now at an advanced stage.

The country is expected to start producing foot and mouth vaccines before the end of the year, with the programme being implemented in phases.

This emerged when officials from the Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC) met technical consultants who are in the country to assist with the implementation of the project.

Speaking to ZBC News,SIRDC Chief Executive Officer Professor Robson Mafoti noted that thelocal production of vaccines is expected to reduce the country’s import bill.

“This will be the first of its kind and once we start the manufacturing process we will be able to export to other countries. If we get timeous disbursement of funds from treasury, we will start manufacturing the vaccines this year,” he said.

The group also toured the national vaccine development programme proposed laboratories to be refurbished at SIRDC.

This comes at a time when Zimbabwe is importing vaccines to curb the spread of the highly contagious foot and mouth disease which is caused by a virus and mainly spread through cattle to cattle transmission.