Rinderpest vaccine in pipeline

THE Tanzania Veterinary Laboratory Agency (TVLA) is in the final stage of making a rinderpest vaccine to protect livestock from the disease and help livestock keepers increase their income.

The vaccine that will start to be used in the next 2023/24 financial year is specific for sheep and goats to help households which depend on livestock keeping to boost their income.

Speaking to ‘Daily News’ recently, the TVLA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Stella Bitanyi said the aim is to eliminate rinderpest by 2030 as an international strategy.

Dr Bitanyi said that the disease is dangerous and kills a lot of livestock once they enter the shed, they can find animals attacked.

“We are continuing with local studies to improve other vaccines that are important to the country.

Our vision is to expand the range of vaccines we produce to meet the needs of the country. We conduct various research on livestock diseases where others were funded by the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) and other research stakeholders from abroad,” said Dr Bitanyi

She said TVLA implemented much different research in the country through their centres.

Regarding the centres, at the Tanga and Kigoma centres, TVLA focused on research on bedbugs as well as looking at simple technologies to fight bedbugs. She added, “to a large extent, the centre has done a great job to control bedbugs in many areas of the country”.

Other centres are Tabora, Arusha, Mwanza, Mtwara, Katavi, Dodoma and Iringa.

She said the implementation of quality control standards led the TVLA to obtain International Accreditation for ten laboratory tests from the Southern African Development Community Accreditation Services (SADCAS) for ISO certification.

On his part the Tanzania Vaccine Institute (TVI) Manager, Mr Charles Mayenga said their responsibility is to research to achieve their goals.

“A disease similar to that was cow’s rinderpest which by 2011 had been completely eradicated from the world, the world has again set the goal that by 2030 rinderpest to goat and sheep will disappear, so we have planned to ensure that we produce this vaccine and this is our strategy,” said Mayenga.

He said the vaccine produced by TVLA is fresh compared to imported ones because they are produced according to the needs.

“Despite the fact that the vaccine is manufactured in the country and livestock keepers buy without having been around for a long time, its price also is reasonable compared to imports that have been around for a long time.

For instant one dosage of 100 cows, we used to sell it at a price of 25,000/- each dose while imported the same dose sold between 45,000/- to 80,000/-,” said Mayenga.

Added that the dose of anthrax disease is sold at 20,000/- per dose which can be used for 100 cows while imported sold at 50,000/- and above.

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