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Wakiso district goes into quarantine over Foot and Mouth Disease

Cattle being loaded on a truck at Wabigalo Sub-county headquarters in Nakasongola District before the quarantine was imposed in the area last year. PHOTO BY DAN WANDERA (DM)

Wakiso district authorities have declared a quarantine and announced a ban on all livestock movements in some parts of the district as a measure to curb the spread of foot and mouth disease (FMD).

The disease in Wakiso was first detected in Kajjansi Town Council last week which forced the authorities to declare that no livestock will be allowed to move to and from the area and within a radius of 20kms.

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The areas that fall under the 20km radius include Kyengera, Kasanje and Katabi.
However, Entebbe and Makindye Ssabagabo munipalities that share borders with Kajjansi were not mentioned in the circular.

It is, therefore, not clear whether the unnamed places will face restrictions despite their proximity to Kajjansi. The rest of the three town councils were notified in a letter dated April 15, signed by Dr Gerald Kirembe, the district veterinary officer.

The district has now embarked on interventions including sensitisation of the community about the disease, and closing all meat handling facilities.
Among other steps is the enhancement of livestock check points to enforce livestock movement, restrictions and conducting foot and mouth disease ring vaccination in areas where it has not been done.

“Prompt action must be taken,” Dr Kirembe said.

Despite the communication, some stakeholders who spoke to this newspaper yesterday claimed they had not yet received any information about the development.

“We know nothing about the quarantine and we are operating normally,” Mr Serubugo Mboggo, the head of Kyengera Abattoir, said in a phone interview.

Mr Mboggo added: “Because we have not received any communication, we cannot enforce the directive. The authors of the letter could be up to their own issues. In any case, we as abattoir owners, buy animals countrywide and slaughter them immediately.”

About foot and mouth disease

Foot and mouth is a severe and highly contagious livestock disease characterised by blisters and sores on the lips and tongue, mouth, between the hooves and teats of the affected animal.

But while majority of affected animals recover, the disease leaves them weakened and debilitated.
The disease has infected Uganda’s livestock a couple of times since 1953 when it was first reported in the country.

In January, a quarantine was declared in parts of Kiruhura District.

In February, another quarantine was imposed in five districts in southwestern Uganda. They included Gomba, Isingiro, Kazo, Kiruhura and Sembabule.

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