The Upper East Regional Public Health Emergency Committee has taken delivery of 100,000 anthrax vaccines from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to help contain the spread of the disease.
Last week, a team from the FAO in a meeting with the Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu, during a visit to assess the impact of the disease since the outbreak, promised to support the efforts of the government in fighting the disease with more vaccines.
Through the services of Zipline Ghana, the vaccines were delivered by drone to the vaccination teams across the 15 Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs) in the region.
At a brief ceremony at the forecourt of the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital last Wednesday to receive some doses of the vaccines by drone delivery, Mr Yakubu said since last Monday, a total of 40,000 of the vaccines had been delivered to all parts of the region to beef up the vaccination process.
He noted that with the services of Zipline Ghana, the vaccines had been delivered to even the remotest and hard to reach parts of the region for onward application instead of the veterinary officers travelling long distances to the regional capital to pick them up and transport them to their respective areas.
“In order to quicken the vaccination process, Zipline Ghana is on standby to deliver the vaccines to the vaccination teams on the ground as quickly as possible without any delay,” he stated.
He commended FAO for coming on board to support the government with the vaccines as it would go a long way to scale up the vaccination process to protect the lives of the animals and the people.
Responding to a question on when the ban on ruminants will be lifted as Eid-ul-Adha, the Muslim festival, is approaching, he noted that the new vaccines would shore up the numbers of vaccinated animals.
He explained that although the committee was working assiduously towards lifting the ban before the Muslim festival, nothing was guaranteed as they continued to record suspected anthrax animal deaths.
“Admittedly, a lot of our people depend on the ruminants as the source of their livelihood and we are working so hard to get rid of the disease so that they can return to business and enjoy it as their meat as well, he stressed.”
The Regional Veterinary Officer, Dr Henry Nii Ayi Anang, in an interview, said the vaccination exercise was currently going well as planned and added that the team on the field was doing everything possible to vaccinate more animals to stop the further spread of the disease.
He expressed optimism that the new vaccines received would improve the vaccination coverage to pave the way for the ban on ruminants to be lifted, saying, “ I am very sure that in the coming days we would be able achieve the vaccination coverage of 70 per cent”.