Published Date: 2017-07-29 14:47:18
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Foot & mouth disease - South Sudan: livestock
Archive Number: 20170729.5214121
FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE - SOUTH SUDAN: LIVESTOCK
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Date: Fri 28 Jul 2017 19:38:56
Source: Xinhua [edited]
Over 4 million cattle in South Sudan are infected with the deadly foot-and-mouth disease [FMD] that threatens to wipe out the war-torn country's vast untapped livestock economy, officials said late [Thu 27 Jul 2017].
The Minister of Livestock and Fisheries James Janga Duku, despite not declaring an outbreak of the viral animal disease in Juba, said they were working on ways to establish control measures at the various border points in the country to curb further infections. "We are looking for funds to set up control stations and maximum surveillance along our border. And we are doing this alongside our neighboring countries," he told journalists in Juba. He added that the FMD which does not kill cattle instantly but reduces the levels of milk and yields threatens to affect the vast untapped livestock sector which contributes about 30 percent to the South Sudan's GDP [Gross domestic product].
The country has 12 million cattle population, 14 million goats and sheep.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) head of programs Felix Dzvurumi said the spread of the disease would worsen the food insecurity situation in the country. The move comes after the UN declared an outbreak in June  of the fall army worm [Spodoptera frugiperda, a moth whose larvae are mainly a pest of maize, with potential hosts from 26 plant families], putting at risk 6 million people who are already food insecure.
"It is coming at a time when we have other transboundary diseases like fall army worm. All these are putting pressure on the food security of the country," Dzvurumi said.
Meanwhile, the FAO Livestock Officer Nemaya Moga, confirmed an outbreak of FMD, but disclosed it is the government to make official declaration and that further tests are being conducted in the laboratory. "Efforts have been done to test in the laboratory. It now depends on the government to declare an outbreak of the disease," he said. Moga added it would take about 18 years for the disease to be controlled in the country as there is lack of well-equipped laboratories, research institutes, and few veterinary officers at local levels in the now 34 states.
The 4 Eastern African countries [Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Sudan] launched a joint initiative on controlling transboundary livestock diseases.
Foot-and-mouth disease, according to FAO is one of the transboundary diseases which has been recognized as one of the devastating diseases seriously affecting food security and global trade in livestock and livestock products in the world.
Duku said that without donor support and capacity building, the FMD will impede their ability to export livestock. "It will impede our ability to export livestock. If we can't get the budget allocation now then we should go around to donors with a basket," he said.
"You cannot control the disease here when it is in neighboring countries. So, what is being done here should also be done there," Moga said of the East African countries like Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia which share the border with South Sudan.
In South Sudan, the disease is endemic, this year  alone 7 outbreaks have been documented from different locations indicating that the disease has spread and affected livestock throughout the country.
There is, therefore, a desire to control and finally eradicate the disease in South Sudan and also within the global community.
South Sudan this year  has witnessed numerous outbreaks of livestock disease next to foot-and-mouth disease including lumpy skin disease, hemorrhagic septicemia and more.
These diseases have a devastating effect on livestock keeping communities in the country as it is affecting availability of food.
[Byline: Zhou Xin]
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts
[FMD is enzootic, not only in South Sudan, but in the East African sub-region as a whole. At least, 7 fresh FMD outbreaks have recently been registered throughout the country, however, it is stated in the above article that 4 million cattle heads are infected; actually this could only be a rough estimation of cattle population threatened with the disease. It is also said that it will take about 18 years to get rid of this scourge. It is not clear to understand why 18 years! However, as rightly mentioned, joint effort of at least 4 countries comprising Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, in addition to South Sudan, are highly recommended to combat this transboundary animal disease. A better surveillance and disease information system, backed with competent and sufficient staff and functional diagnostic laboratories would be a pre-requisite before launching a coherent FMD control program in the 34 country regions and in coordination with neighboring countries. - Mod.AB
A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at: http://healthmap.org/promed/p/8402.]