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Uganda to start production of Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine

President Museveni and Maama Janet receive a delegation form the Government of Egypt at Kisozi Farm on Saturday, 25th May 2024 (Photo/Handout)

Kampala, (UG):- Uganda is poised to start the production of the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine in a move aimed at putting to an end the disease eating up livestock in the country.

The revelation of the good news was made by Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries over the weekend, while addressing delegates from Uganda and Egypt who had gone to meet President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, at his farm in Kisozi, Gomba District.

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Hon. Tumwebaze revealed that the government through its agency; National Agricultural Research Organisation (NRO), is set to build a factory in Uganda for the Vaccine production while bringing technology from Egypt. The Egyptians will also train Ugandan Scientists at NARO in specialised training in FMD vaccine production.

President Museveni welcomed the partnership between the Ugandan and Egyptian governments through NARO to start the local production of FMD.

The FMD virus in Uganda is composed of four strains or serotypes namely Serotype “O”, Serotype “A”, “SAT 1” and “SAT 2”. Eygpt produces vaccines covering only three of these serotypes Serotype “O”, Serotype “A”, and “SAT 2”. Uganda will therefore produce serotype SAT 1, which will be infused into the three serotypes from Eygpt to create a quadrivalent vaccine that will ensure that vaccinated animals are given all-round protection.

Uganda has at least 16 Million cows and a multitude of other domestic animals including goats, and pigs, among others, which brings the number of livestock in the country to 44 Million and all of them require to be vaccinated.

The president was optimistic that with the involvement of NARO, the research process will be faster and accrue quick benefits for the country.

Dr Moses Dhikusooka (right), the team leader vaccine research at the National Livestock Resource Research Institute (NaLIRRI) explains to the Egyptian team a point on the equipment in the NARO labs

The Egyptian delegation visited the NARO laboratories at the National Livestock Resources Research Institute (NaRRI) in Nakyesasa in Wakiso District on 21st May 2024, where they assessed the readiness and capability of the facilities for joint FMD vaccine production.

The delegation was led by Dr. Yona Baguma, who revealed that the Organisation was already equipped to do diagnostics for FMD including identifying the different strains, and capacity is being built to start local production of vaccines.

Prof. Mohamed Ahmed Saad, said they were impressed by the expertise of NARO scientists, capabilities of the laborarotories and noted that and noted that some equipment needed to be brought in coupled with specialised training in running them, before the entire production is locally done here.

Gen. Moshen Azouz, who is the Director Vetinaru Service Department Eygpt, assured President Museveni the Eygptian government is committed to the partnership between Uganda and Eygpt.

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