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USAID’s FAO donates 100,000 Anthrax vaccines to protect Ghanaians and livestock


By Joyce Kantam Kolamong and Patience Nawang

Vaccines teach the immune systems of humans and animals how to create antibodies that protect them from diseases. Vaccines have proven to be effective, safe and reduce disease burden while increasing survival rates.

For this reason, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has announced a donation of 100,000 doses of Anthrax vaccine to support the Government of Ghana and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation in their efforts to protect Ghanaians and livestock from the threat of Anthrax.

The donation is expected to cover approximately one million animals in regions that are at risk of Anthrax outbreaks.

The Mission Director of USAID/Ghana, Miss Kimberly Rosen, made the announcement at the launch of Ghana’s first Anthrax vaccination campaign at Kpallaung, a community in the Savelugu Municipality of the Northern Region. 

Miss Kimberly Rosen.

Anthrax is a highly infectious disease that can be transmitted from animals to humans. It poses a significant threat to both human life and livestock, thereby endangering economic prosperity and food security. The donation of vaccines aims to prevent the occurrence of anthrax in animals, reducing the risk of transmission to humans. USAID has been working closely with Ghana for nearly two decades to strengthen veterinary health services.

In addition to the vaccine donation, USAID has provided over 100 million dollars to Ghana’s health sector in the past year, supporting various areas such as global health security, nutrition, social protection, and maternal and child health.

The collaboration between Ghana and USAID involves multiple sectors and government agencies, including the Ministry of Food and Agriculture’s Veterinary Services,  Ghana Health Service, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Local Government, and the National Disaster Management Organization. outbreaks.

Mission Director of USAID/Ghana, Miss Kimberly Rosen, emphasised the importance of preventing anthrax outbreaks through regular vaccination campaigns, highlighting the positive impact that healthier animals can have on human safety and potential revenue generation for the Veterinary Services Department.

She emphasised the importance of public-private partnerships in ensuring the efficient distribution of vaccines.

“USAID is partnering with UN Food and Agriculture Organisation to provide technical support for the campaign and to monitor throughout Northern Ghana, and we are also working with FAO to monitor slaughterhouses in order to prioritise a more comprehensive support package to facilities. We are also working to accelerate social behavior change project to create awareness to spread the need to vaccinate animals.” 

Deputy Director, Veterinary Services Department, Dr. Benita Anderson, who represented the Chief Veterinary Officer, said the success of this campaign relies not only on the vaccines distributed but also on the collective effort and dedication of every individual involved. She urged all stakeholders in beneficiary areas to forge ahead and prioritise the health and well-being of its people and livestock.

“Veterinary Services Department will soon come out with the vaccination plan for all regions in the five regions of the North. Together, we can eliminate this disease by implementing the vaccination and coming out to support the campaign when it begins.”

Northern Regional Director of Agriculture, Hajia Hawa Musah, expressed concern about the condition of slaughterhouses, which she said do not even meet local standards.

She called for urgent action in that regard, encouraging communities to avail their animals when the exercise begins.

The partnership between the United States and Ghana seeks to strengthen veterinary health services, promote global health security, and combat the spread of infectious diseases for a safer and healthier Ghana.

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