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U.S. donates 100,000 anthrax vaccines to support Ghana’s livestock health initiative

April 19, 2024
U.S. donates 100,000 anthrax vaccines to support Ghana's livestock health initiative

The U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (), has contributed 100,000 doses of anthrax vaccine to aid Ghana's extensive vaccination campaign, coordinated with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). This initiative aims to immunize around one million animals in Ghana's northern regions, enhancing both human safety and livestock health.

During the campaign's launch in Savelugu, , USAID/Ghana Mission Director Miss Kimberly Rosen highlighted the critical nature of the initiative. “Anthrax not only threatens human life but also economic prosperity and by destroying livestock,” Rosen stated.

Prior to the campaign's inauguration, Rosen and FAO representatives visited the Vaccine Production Unit at the Central Veterinary Laboratory in Pong-, where they assessed the facility's capabilities. Rosen noted the potential for the laboratory to increase vaccine production through automation and additional investment, which could meet national needs and support export opportunities, thereby boosting revenue and job creation in the veterinary sector.

Anthrax, a severe infectious disease that can transfer from animals to humans, poses significant health risks. The vaccination drive, focusing on animals such as cattle, sheep, and goats, aims to prevent disease in livestock, consequently reducing the risk of human infections.

The urgency of this campaign was underscored by an anthrax outbreak in May 2023, which resulted in the deaths of 97 animals across six districts in the Region and led to 13 suspected human cases, including one fatality. The swift response from the government and its partners helped contain the outbreak.

The Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Emmanuel Cudjoe, whose remarks were delivered by proxy, declared the campaign launch a crucial step in protecting the country's agricultural backbone and public health. “Anthrax is a deadly disease that poses a grave risk to our animals and threatens the livelihoods of our farmers and the safety of our food supply,” he explained, calling for community support to ensure the campaign's success and prevent future outbreaks.

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