Newcastle Disease Vaccination to Start in Rwanda

RWANDA - For the first time, poultry farmers will be able to vaccinate their birds against Newcastle disease.
calendar icon 13 October 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) in partnership with The African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) has launched a vaccination exercise to eradicate previously neglected poultry diseases to minimise losses incurred by farmers, reports New Times.

For the last five years, records indicate that Newcastle disease has claimed over 1.5 million birds causing an approximate loss of US$13.6 million. Newcastle disease is a contagious bird disease affecting many domestic and wild avian species.

Poultry farmers will for the first time have their birds vaccinated against the disease.

Human exposure to infected birds can cause mild conjunctivitis and influenza-like symptoms, but otherwise, the Newcastle disease virus (NDV) poses no hazards to human health.

No treatment for NDV exists, but the use of prophylactic vaccines and sanitary measures reduce the likelihood of an outbreak.

The initiative is part of the African Union's move aimed at eradicating neglected diseases in poultry.

Addressing farmers, the Director of Veterinary Services at RAB, Dr Vianney Otto Muhinda, said the exercise will be implemented in two phases, targeting mainly commercial farmers.

He said: "Apart from vaccinating, we shall also go down to grass root farmers to encourage and sensitise them on the best practices of poultry, as well as measures to be taken so as to increase on their profitability."

Dr Landry Ndriko Mayigane, Hatchery and Poultry Specialist, said the programme is expected to be completed in a month.

He told New Times: "We have three million doses for the pilot project and our target is 1.5 million farmers; but as a way of sustaining the programme, government has plans to make it benefit more farmers."

A farmer from Rulindo District, Jean Marie Vianney Ngiruwonsanga, said: "We are really grateful for the vaccine but some farmers out there are not well versed with poultry farming; they lack the knowledge to identify diseases affecting birds."

Further Reading

- Find out more information on Newcastle disease by clicking here.
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