ZAMBIA needs support from stakeholders to vaccinate over two million goats and about one million sheep to avoid the spread of the highly contagious small ruminants plague in the country, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock permanent secretary David Shamulenge has said.

Peste des petit ruminants (PPR), affects sheep and goats and is a contagious transboundary animal disease and the virus has the potential to hit up to 90 percent of an animal herd.
Mr Shamulenge said through collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Government is optimistic that enhanced capacity for rapid diagnosis and control of the disease in high risk countries will help improve rural livelihoods and national food security in the affected areas.

He said this when he officiated at a workshop on, ‘Capacity building to prevent PPR introduction into Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia,’ on Friday in Kafue Gorge.

Mr Shamulenge urged participants from the three affected countries to mobilise resources and plan ahead to stop the disease from spreading further in the region.

“Let me appeal to FAO to mobilise resources from the donor community to assist Zambia in risk profiling and management of the new PPR situation to stop the disease spreading further southwards…I would also like to thank FAO for this initiative to support capacity building in PPR surveillance and control in the region,” he said.

Earlier, FAO representative to Zambia George Okech said the organisation has come up with a three integrated components to prevent the plague from spreading further in the region.
The plan will help eradicate PPR as an important objective in the global strategy, provide quality veterinary services which are indispensable for the successful and sustainable implementation of PPR prevention and control activities worldwide.

Mr Okech said the strategy will in turn create more cost effective opportunities to control other priority diseases.

“I hope that this workshop will deliberate on how collectively we can contribute to the control and eventually eradicate PPR and other priority diseases of sheep and goats to enhance nutrition and food security and livelihood along the value chain,” he said.

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