A cattle camp in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State. [Gurtong| File]
By Agoth Abraham
RUMBEK, 17 October 2012 [Gurtong] -Only a quarter of nearly ten thousand cattle in the state’s north-western county were vaccinated before the allocated supply of vaccines was exhausted.
Minister for Animal Health and Disease Control Albino Madhan Anei said the campaign targeted cows, goats and sheep because heavy flooding this year has caused outbreaks of diseases.
“We have started vaccination in Nyamlel, Aweil West County and later we will move to other counties. Already there are 9,859 head of cattle in Aweil West County which needs to be vaccinated and yet the ministry has run out of vaccines,” he said.
It was reported that 86 head of cattle died of the different diseases that broke out in Aweil West County and the ministry is targeting all the counties in the state.
The minister also pointed out that tsetse fly infections have killed more than 400 cattle in Aweil South County.
“One of the challenges we face is that we lack enough money, fuel and spare parts for the vehicles,” said Anei.
To contribute toward these needs, the community was asked to pay a fee of 1 South Sudanese Pound per cow vaccinated.
“We have lost very many cattle and yet this is our source of living. We request the government to visit us regularly to access the conditions of our cattle,” said one of the pastoralists.
In recent years, South Sudan has been prone livestock disease outbreaks, often requiring immediate response.
In March this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported nearly 90 suspected cases of Anthrax, while another reported case of rift valley fever was put under control.
Officials from FAO, however, maintain that livestock risks from the deadly rift valley fever remain high, especially in the absence of a robust surveillance system.
Although FAO estimate 5 million animals to be vaccinated by the end of 2011 alone, at least 3.8 million have reportedly undergone the process.
The organization, however, cited inadequate funding, lack of trained personnel, inadequate vaccines, poor infrastructure and insecurity as some of the setbacks to vaccination exercise