Uganda Partners With Botswana To Produce Vaccine For Foot & Mouth Disease

Uganda Partners With Botswana To Produce Vaccine For Foot & Mouth Disease

By Spy Uganda

Kampala: The Botswana Vaccine Institute is set to collaborate with Uganda to address the persistent challenge of Foot and Mouth disease in the country’s cattle industry.

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni disclosed this development during a meeting with Botswana scientists at State House, Entebbe, on Monday.

The gathering which included officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, as well as the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation, served as a follow-up to the bilateral discussions between President Museveni and his Botswana counterpart Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi on January 22, 2024, at Speke Resort, Munyonyo, during the G77+ China Third South Summit.

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According to President Museveni, Botswana Vaccine Institute scientists have already examined samples from cattle affected by Foot and Mouth disease in various regions, including the cattle corridor.

These samples will be sent to the Botswana Vaccine Institute for further analysis with the aim of developing a vaccine to combat the infection.

President Museveni expressed his appreciation for the collaboration and endorsed the partnership to create a vaccine specifically tailored for Foot and Mouth disease in Uganda.

“The other time, I also discussed with H.E Mokgweetsi about animal feeds, if the Botswana companies could come here because we have a lot of maize. For instance, the other year we produced five million tonnes but we consumed one million tonnes internally, so if there are companies which want animal feeds for local consumption and also for export back to Botswana, they are welcome,” President Museveni said.

The Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, revealed to the President that the Botswana Vaccine Institute’s scientists have agreed to collaborate with the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) to develop a vaccine targeting foot and mouth disease in Uganda.

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“In our discussions, they agreed to the idea that they can partner with us- NARO, to develop their kind vaccine. They are now serving Southern Africa, so they believe they can also help us to produce for East Africa,” Hon. Tumwebaze said.

Additionally, Hon. Tumwebaze highlighted their success in persuading the Botswana delegation to consider purchasing high-quality Ugandan milk. He emphasized that the sourced milk is free from the areas affected by foot and mouth disease.

Meanwhile, Andrew Madeswi, the CEO of Botswana Vaccine Institute, noted that their mission to collect samples has been accomplished. The next phase involves testing the samples, with the final report expected to be available by March 29, 2024.

Mr. Mokganedi Mokopasetso, the Technical Director of Botswana Vaccine Institute, provided details on their sample collection process. They visited three districts in the western and eastern parts of the country, including sub-counties, where they visited farms. Mr. Mokopasetso expressed confidence in the success of their mission based on these visits.

The meeting included the presence of other dignitaries such as Hon. Dr. Monica Musenero, the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation; Hon. Judith Nabakooba, the 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; Maj Gen. David Kyomukama Kasura, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, among others.

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