Maryam Muhammad, the executive director of national veterinary research institute (NVRI), on Wednesday, warned farmers and veterinary doctors against fake anthrax vaccines in the livestock market. Ms Muhammad gave the warning at the consultative meeting of stakeholders with the federal department of veterinary and pest control service on the prevention and control of anthrax in the country.
The NVRI boss said there was a discovery of fake anthrax vaccine in some states of the country. “We have retrieved fake anthrax vaccine in livestock market in Nassarawa, Kaduna, Kwara and Oyo States,” she said. She, however, urged the farmers to remain calm and not to panic, stressing that government was in control of the situation.
She said that measures were already being put in place to ensure that everything was under control. According to her, what we want to do first is to have only directors of veterinary services and accredited services who can attend to those that need it. “They will be trained to do vaccination and trained to recognise fake vaccine and for those selling fake vaccines we have complained to security agencies and we are allowing them to do their work.
“But from our side if you need the vaccine come through either your state Director of Veterinary Services or an accredited distributor. That way we can control the availability of these vaccines,” she said. Ms Muhammad advised authority in charge of livestock market to ensure they regulate the availability of vaccines in livestock market and also ensure they provide light to store genuine vaccines well. She said there was a need to create awareness for the public that there was no need to panic that government was controlling the disease. She also promised that they would scale up the production of the vaccine to make it available so that farmers do not have to look for it in areas that are non-designated for vaccine sales and distribution to stop the distribution of fake vaccines. She urged farmers and veterinary doctors to be careful when buying the vaccine.
Oluwadare Paul, general secretary Nigerian association of animal health and husbandry technologists (NAAHHT) from Ibadan, said there were so many fake vaccines out there and there was the need for urgent intervention to see that the right authority stepped in. “I have bought some many fake vaccines and when applied on the animals, it has negatively affected the animals; some died and sometimes the fake vaccine did not fight the disease,” he said Otto Muhinda, emergency centre for transboundary animal diseases (ECTAD) country team leader of FAO, also appealed to farmers not to panic as FAO was assuring of its support ensure vaccines get to farmers. He said ECTAD was a programme by FAO for the planning and delivery of veterinary assistance to member states in responding to the threat of transboundary animal health crises and would ensure that specialists in multiple sectors work together to tackle health threats of animals and humans. (NAN)