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Govt geared to eradicate Theileriosis disease development partners scramble to assist

by Innocent Mujeri
03 Mar 2020 at 14:53hrs | Views
The Government through the department of Veterinary Services and its development partners, has intensified efforts to curb the spread of Theileriosis, a tickborne disease, that has caused deaths of many cattle in various Zimbabwean communal areas.

Theileriosis, popularly known in Zimbabwe as January disease, is a livestock disease caused by a species of Theileria, a blood-borne parasite and mainly affects cattle.

Over the years, the country has lost a large herd of cattle to the disease and this has prompted the Government to devise measures to stop the spread of theileriosis.

On 20 November 2018, The Senator for Mt Darwin South, West and North Alice Chimbudzi informed the Senate that the country has lost 3430 cattle due to tick-borne diseases between November 2017 and May 2018 with Mashonaland East recording the highest deaths. She mentioned theileriosis as the cause for deaths.

According to the Global Press Journal of 2019, the number of cattle dying from tick borne diseases escalated in 2019 to over 50 thousand and this saw many families sinking into abject poverty as cattle is considered as a store of wealth.

In addressing challenges caused by tick borne diseases, government with its development partners such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has to date availed 47 thousand liters of dipping chemicals to Manicaland Province. The chemicals are expected to service the Province for at least 2 years.

Manicaland has lost over7 000 cattle to the scourge of Theileriosis.

In Zimbabwe, cattle are a store of wealth as they are reared for income generation purposes as well as to provide draught power.

The depleting of national herd means poverty will strike many families, hence the intervention by government to eradicate tick borne disease.

Government has signed some Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) with various development partners that include FAO, Livestock and Food Security Programme -Zimbabwe (LFSP) and United Nations Development Partners (UNDP).

Under the recently signed MOUs, FAO will support cattle farmers in areas such as Buhera, Chimanimani, Chipinge and Mutare.

LSFP will provide dipping chemicals and other support to farmers in Makoni and Mutasa Districts while Nyanga district will get support from UNDP.

Other provinces will soon be assisted soon.
The action being taken by the Department of Veterinary Services to eradicate theileriosis is a response to the directive by President Emerson Mnangagwa who once said government would assist cattle farmers to preserve their cattle.

AT the 39th Independence celebrations in Harare, His Excellency President Emerson Mnangagwa told thousands of people that the government is working to stop the spread of tick-borne disease.

He added that, the government was in the process of increasing financial support towards the procurement of essential vaccines against high impact diseases.

The recent action by the Department of Veterinary Services is a sign that the New Dispensation of President Mnangagwa is human-centric as it focuses on addressing challenges that affect them on daily basis.

Source - Innocent Mujeri