12 million animals vaccinated in Afganisthan by FAO teams
Several teams of UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have managed to vaccinate 12 million sheep and goats against PPR, and to save 300,000 cattle from FMD in all 34 provinces of Afghanistan. "As a result, there have been no outbreaks FMD or PPR in the communities where the vaccinations were given. While these vaccinations need repeating, the project made a real difference to the lives of tens of thousands of Afghan farmers who were able to keep larger herds, and consequently generate more income,", informs FAO.
In the last couple of years, FAO staff and over 1 000 community-based animal health workers carried-out routine checkups, vaccinations and raised awareness about the prevention of contagious animal diseases through early treatment – and through the setting-up of outreach booths at local animal markets across the country, and the publication of pictorial brochures aimed at farmers unable to read.
The farmers were also given information on when and where they could source medicines - and during the process their animals were vaccinated against PPR and FMD. Animal health workers also issued vaccination cards for each animal - detailing inoculation history.
FAO also restored and equipped the central livestock diagnostic laboratory in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, with state-of-the-art equipment, a teaching laboratory, storage capacity for 10 million doses of vaccines, and a team of professionals that can swiftly diagnose disease.
Despite the fact that the TAD Project has proved to be a success for the Afghan livestock sector, a big danger resides in the cross-border movement of sick animals from another country. Currently, FMD and PPR are endemic in both Afghanistan and neighboring countries such as Iran, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.
The TAD project built-up veterinary and disease surveillance capacity across the region. Together, neighboring nations explored new ways to build upon each other’s successes. Pakistan, for example, has more diagnostic capacity than others in the region and offered to share its’ expertise through training.
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