The International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) has vaccinated no fewer than 200,000 livestock in Nasarawa State.
Dr Usman Baba, Field Veterinary Officer of ICRC made this known during a vaccination exercise on Thursday in Giza, Keana Local Government Area of the state.
He said that the intervention under the Economic Security Unit of ICRC was being done in collaboration with the Nasarawa government to support in restoring the livelihood of the those affected by conflicts in the state.
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Baba explained that at the onset of conflicts, ICRC supports victims with food and essential household items, and in the aftermath, they intervene towards restoring their livelihoods.
According to him, ICRC supports crop farmers with seeds and other farm inputs while livestock farmers get animal health-ralated services including vaccination and training of public Veterinary officers and pastoralists.
He said that the organisation had targeted to vaccinate two million cattles, sheeps and goats against Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (respiratory disease) and pest of small ruminants across the country.
“So far, we have vaccinated 1.5 million animals and we hope to meet the target by the end of the year,” he said.
The field veterinary officer said that for Nasarawa State, the intervention was being done in Wamba, Keana and Awe Local Government Areas.
He applauded the support and cooperation of the State Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources and the pastoralists towards the success of the project.
Baba assured that ICRC would sustain the annual vaccination exercise, which started in 2021 in order to attain herd immunity against the highly contagious disease.
Speaking on the exercise, Dr Abdullahi Musa, Director Veterinary Services, Nasarawa State, thanked the ICRC for the intervention.
Musa said that as part of the collaboration, ICRC provided the vaccines, trained and funded the vaccinators, while the ministry provided field officers and supervised the exercise.
He noted that the vaccination exercise by ICRC had greatly impacted on the lives of pastoralists and small animal keepers since it began in 2021.
The director said that the animals were now healthier and guarantee more productivity for the herders and high-quality protein for the people to address issue of malnutrition in the state.
He added that apart the vaccination during the exercise, field veterinarians also dewormed the animals, and diagnose diseases prescribed medications for treatment.
“The teams also train beneficiaries on how to control diseases generally,” he added.
Also speaking, Mr Buba Joseph, Desk Officer Disease Control of Keana LGA, said the intervention has reduced cases of cattle dying from infectious diseases in the area.
He pointed out that some animal diseases were zoonotic and transmissible from animal to man.
“Therefore, this intervention had gone a long way to save lives and boost the confidence of people regarding the consumption of healthy meat,” Joseph said.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Alhaji Hassan Abubakar, ‘Ardo’ of Giza, appreciated ICRC for the support, which had brought great relief to them.
“Since the vaccination started in 2021, our animals are no longer dying. We are grateful to the ICRC.
“We are very happy, our animals are healthy and producing more and we are no longer spending money on regular treatment like before,” he said.
Abubakar, however, called for more such support from government and public-spirited organisation to boost livestock production in the country.