A Veterinary Officer vaccinating a Cow

Two more persons have been killed by the deadly anthrax disease after consuming the carcass of an anthrax infected cow.

The two were among three people who ate the carcass of an anthrax infected cow at the Nabiisi section of Balungu in the Bongo District of the Upper East region.

Two persons earlier died at the Googo community in the Bawku West District of the Upper East region after consuming the meat of animals suspected to have suffered anthrax infection.

Some cattle owners do not bury the carcass after sudden death, but slaughter and sprinkle concoction on them for sale.  

DAILY GUIDE gathered that the Bongo District Assembly and the District of office of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture office have halted the vaccination programme in the Bongo district due to the lack of resources to convey veterinary officers to various parts of the district.

From May 11 to May 22, some veterinary officers used their resources to travel from Bongo to Balungu and its environs to continue the vaccination.

They have resolved to stop the programme until the District Assembly provides them with money travel to the communities to continue the vaccination programme.

Recently, a combined team of Health and Veterinary Officers, Zoomlion and an elder from the Bonaba’s palace to go to Balungu retrieved the remaining portion of a “prepared” meat and other dead cattle from the owners for proper burial to avert the spread of the disease.

According the Upper East Regional Officer of the Veterinary Service, Dr. Thomas Anyorikeya, a total of 2,700 livestock were vaccinated in  the Balungu area and other parts of the Bongo District from May 11 to May 22, 2012.

He said people have been advised to seek medical treatment.

This is not the first time an anthrax outbreak has been recorded in the Bongo district, but some people have tried to eat the carcass of dead animals even though they have been sternly cautioned against such practice.

According to Dr. Anyorikeya, an anthrax spore can survive on the surface of the soil for over 20 years.

The Regional Veterinary Officer told DAILY GUIDE that the sprouting stage of the grass is very dangerous because the anthrax spores are just beneath the grass.

Currently, farmers are expected to pay 20Gp to vaccinate a cow, bull, sheep, goat, pig, dog or donkey but some of them are refusing to pay for the vaccination of their animals.

 From: Ebo Bruce-Quansah, Bongo

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