Livestock farmers in Uganda have a reason to smile after local scientists have developed new Anti-Tick vaccines.
A paper published by a researcher Paul D Kasaija, shows that ticks are leading vectors and are wide spread in Uganda due to its suitable climatic conditions.
Kasaija says besides the physical injury inflicted on the animal host, ticks transmit a number of pathogens that can lead to morbidity and mortality of livestock if untreated resulting into losses to a farmer.
“Uganda suffers an aggregated annual loss of USD1.1bn in Tick and Tickborne Diseases (TTBDs) complex. Therefore, control of TTBDs is a matter of great importance in Uganda” he says adding that whereas indegenous cattle that make 90% of the national herd can tolerate ticks, the exotic cattle require intensive use of acaricides for tick control and prevention.
Now, according to president Museveni, Ugandan scientists have developed Anti-Tick vaccines, a situation that brings smiles on the faces of livestock farmers whose animals are always attacked by mostly East Coast Fever caused by ticks.
The President revealed this development during the US-Africa Leaders Convention in Washington.
Museveni says not only have Ugandan scientists been able to save the population from the COVID-19 pandemic through innovation of local medicines, the same scientists are helping the country in area of promoting livestock farming.
He said for Uganda to have succeeded in containing the spread of COVID-19, it was as a result of a combined use of both traditional and modern medicine. He cited Prof. Patrick Ogwang who crossmatched an accient antiviral plant product that the people of North Eastern Uganda have used for ages. This plant according to Museveni has been used by the locals in that region against measles which is caused by Rubeola but Ogwang applied it to treat COVID-19 and it saved many lives.
“Uganda has been able to contain the spread of COVID-19 which has ravaged most parts of the world. The country is working to develop all types of vaccines needed for human and livestock. Our scientists have developed Anti-Tick vaccine” he said.
Museveni who was lauded by his Botswana counterpart Mokgweetsi Masisi for handling COVID-19 and Ebola outbreak, however, called for more collaboration between Uganda and US especially in the area Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines if the country is to gain a fair share of pharmaceutical production in the world.
“Uganda and Africa are better placed to produce many Pharmaceuticals because of the plants that we have on the continent. This collaboration would go a long way in providing cheaper medicines and vaccines” he said.
He said that currently, there are two areas Uganda is moving on her own but would welcome collaboration if available. These include Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines. He said it is not correct to continue with the present arrangement where in the global share of pharmaceutical production of USD1.42trillion, Africa’s share is only 16billion.
Museveni outlined eight health care and promotion strategies that he thinks will help Ugandans eliminate 75% of the possible diseases that affect them. These include protecting the environment, nutrition through sensitization and education, hygiene mainly hand washing and proper waste disposal, safe water through boreholes and gravity flow schemes, vaccination, Malaria prevention through use of larvicides and drainage of stagnant water, behavioral change and lifestyle diseases.