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Joint Efforts to Combat Foot and Mouth Disease: Uganda and Botswana Collaboration

Botswana’s Vaccine Institute researchers have rectified samples collected from cattle affected by foot and mouth disease across the cattle corridor and other impacted regions within the nation. These samples are now scheduled for transportation to the Botswana Vaccine Institute for further analysis, with the aim of developing a vaccine to curb the spread of the infection.

President Museveni warmly received the team of scientists from Botswana and endorsed the collaborative effort to develop a vaccine tailored to combat foot and mouth disease within Uganda.

“I have previously engaged with H.E Mokgweetsi regarding animal feeds; Botswana companies could potentially explore opportunities within Uganda given our surplus maize production. For instance, last year, we produced five million tonnes but consumed only one million tonnes domestically. Therefore, companies interested in producing animal feeds for local consumption and export to Botswana are encouraged,” stated President Museveni.

Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries, briefed the President on the agreement between scientists from the Botswana Vaccine Institute and the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) to collaborate on developing a vaccine against foot and mouth disease in Uganda.

“In our discussions, they expressed willingness to collaborate with us—NARO—to develop a vaccine. Currently, they cater to Southern Africa and believe they can extend their assistance to produce vaccines for East Africa as well,” Hon. Tumwebaze remarked.

Furthermore, Hon. Tumwebaze indicated that they successfully convinced the Botswana delegation to consider purchasing milk from Uganda, emphasizing its high quality and guarantee that it originates from areas unaffected by foot and mouth disease.

Andrew Madeswi, CEO of the Botswana Vaccine Institute, reported that the sample collection mission had been accomplished, and the next step involves conducting tests on the collected samples. The final report findings are anticipated to be released on March 29, 2024.

Mr. Mokganedi Mokopasetso, Technical Director of the Botswana Vaccine Institute, elaborated that during the sample collection process, they visited three districts in the western part of Uganda, three districts in the Eastern region, and various sub-counties. They visited farms and were content that their mission yielded successful outcomes.

The meeting was also attended by Hon. Dr. Monica Musenero, Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation; Hon. Judith Nabakooba, Minister of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development; Hon. Bright Rwamirama, Minister of State for Animal Industry; Ambassador Paul Amoru, High Commissioner of Uganda to South Africa; and Maj Gen. David Kyomukama Kasura, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries, among others.


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