Northwest mass vaccination targets 180,000 cattle

A mass vaccination campaign targeting 180,000 heads of cattle has been launched in Bamenda the chief town of Northwest Region with a call to Veterinarians (Vets) in the Region have been enjoined to be prudent in administering vaccines on cattle when they go to the field.

The call was made on Tuesday, July 25, by Northwest Regional Delegate of Livestock Fisheries and Animal Industries, MINEPIA, Dr. Heinandez Atanga, together with the Director of Livestock Development Fund, CDENO, Michael Shupong Mbah during an occasion to launch the 2017 Cattle Mass Vaccination Campaign at the Conference Hall of the Regional Delegation.

The immunization campaign aims at administering the Perivax, Symptovax, Pastovax and Ndulovax so as to make cattle immune to deadly livestock pathologies like contagious bovine Pleuropneumonia, Black Quarter, Hemorrhagic Septicemia and Pasteurellosis noted to cause death tolls in cattle and consequent fall in the number of cattle bred.

In attendance were all Divisional and Sub-Divisional Delegates from the seven divisions of the Northwest Region. They converged to receive drugs and vaccine equipment to convey to their various delegations for immunization of cattle.

Before distributing the vaccines, the presiding officials cautioned technicians on conscientiousness; “Be diligent in the exercise to protect animals. Make sure you mobilize and sensitize cattle grazers before administration of vaccines so that the herdsmen come out in their numbers. Negotiate an appropriate period for vaccination. Do not impose the time on grazers,” the presiding officials counseled.

The subordinates were also warned against some malpractices in the field that can trigger ineffectiveness; vets were told to avoid combination of two or more vaccines in one syringe but to stick to the policy of ‘one vaccine one syringe’, to desist from exposing drugs to heat which is likely to damage them and to shun snobbish attitudes towards local grazers.

Some veterinarians exposed problems often encountered in the field, especially, peripheries that often go unvaccinated to include failure by the ministry to map them out, deliberate refusal by herdsmen to expose their cattle for vaccination, grazers′ lack of confidence in the vaccine, resistance by Fulani men to pay for vaccination, poorly constructed crushes and difficulty in accessing some terrains. The complaints were laid to the CDENO Director, Shupong Mbah, who acknowledged the problems and encouraged his colleagues.

“There are always problems. Our means are limited to our ends. It is when we strive to meet these challenges that we are credited. Concerning areas skipped during vaccination, the ministry knows about them but they always start with top priority areas before going to the grassroots. In the same vein, you should always begin with top urgent areas. First tackle the disease that would kill you,” he quipped.

An evaluation of a mass vaccination campaign carried out in 2016, was also, part of the event. Veterinarians applauded themselves for being ranked second in the previous year’s vaccination with a total of 166,200 cattle vaccinated. The statistics also revealed that Fundong Sub-Division had the highest number of cattle followed by Misaje Sub-Division.

On a sad note, cattle in areas like Menchum Valley and Bafut were noticed with skin diseases which according to the Divisional Delegate for Mezam, meant the Ndulovax was poorly administered. The animal technicians were thus called to be judicious in order to avoid future occurrence. Meanwhile, Divisional and Sub Divisional Delegates would perfect the exercise via routine follow ups.

They departed to their various destinations with vaccines. Immunization of each cow has been fixed at a subsidized rate of FCFA 85. Vets agreed to reassemble at the Regional Headquarter in October to evaluate the 2017 Cattle Mass Vaccination.

By Mildred Ndum Wung Kum

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