Authorities in the Upper East Region have announced the commencement of the animal vaccination campaign today, June 8.
This initiative comes in response to a recent outbreak of anthrax that has affected several districts within the region, including Binduri, Bawku West, Talensi, and Bolgatanga Municipality.
The urgency of the situation became evident when the Bansi and Sapeliga communities reported the deaths of seven cattle and 23 sheep and goats as of Friday, June 2, 2023.
In an interview, Thomas Duanab Wuni, the District Chief Executive Officer (DCE) of Talensi, shed light on the vaccination efforts.
“There was some vaccination on a smaller scale since Tuesday, but we are starting full-scale vaccination of animals today, and sensitization will continue. We have released funds for the purchase of about 8,000 more vaccines. We have a way of reaching out to every community through the chiefs and the assemblies, so we have sent out circulars. We will continue the announcements.” he said.
When asked if affected ranches had been confined, he said, “In my district, we largely have free-range animals. If we have to quarantine them, it means we may have to quarantine the whole district. Obviously, they are mixing. Nabdam is just very close, and the next place from Dusi is Nabdam-Pelungu. What we have done is to keep monitoring closely, so that any signs that we find, we can quickly move in. I’m sure the methods we are employing will yield the desired results.”
He assured that there is no possibility of people contracting the anthrax bacteria through the air.
“We haven’t had any indication of human infection. Our people here, because of the awareness, did not eat any of the cows, and we are hoping that it stays like that so that nobody consumes any infected animal anywhere. We had a meeting with the technocrats, the district health director, and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) guys, and there was no indication that there could be airborne transmission. They didn’t tell us that by merely walking around, one could have the anthrax bacteria, no,” Mr. Thomas Duanab Wuni assured.
On June 7, the Upper East Regional Coordinating Council extended the one-month ban on the movement of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, donkeys, and their products to encompass the entire region.
This decision was made in response to an anthrax outbreak that has affected certain parts of the region.
The ban on the slaughtering, sale, and consumption of meat and meat products derived from animals has been enforced throughout the entire region.
Thirteen suspected human anthrax cases, including one death, were reported from the Bansi Community on June 5.