Government has developed the theileriosis vaccine (BOLVAC) which is expected to reduce farmers’ livestock loses.
BOLVAC vaccine comes as a major breakthrough and brings relief to farmers whose livestock herds had tremendously depleted due to the ravaging effects of ‘theileriosis’, popularly known as January disease.
In a statement released on its official twitter page yesterday, the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, revealed that, Government had released the first commercial batch of BOLVAC vaccine.
“The Government has managed to produce the first commercial batch of Theileriosis vaccine and the first batch produced 20 000 doses that aim to upscale production to meet national demand,” read the statement.
Over the past years, small-scale holder farmers and commercial farmers experienced annual loss of livestock, especially cattle, to the dreaded January disease.
January disease had traumatized farmers thereby reducing the country’s herd, affecting farmers’ profits as well as threatening the nation’s health as unhealthy meat found its way to the market.
Animal health expert, Tonderai Mugacha who spoke to this publication expressed optimism over the development of BOLVAC vaccine, noting that, the vaccine will go a long way in combating the dreaded January disease.
“This is a breakthrough and this is going to change the landscape of fighting the diseases and this will bolster efforts on research and development which are critical for any sector of the economy especially during this rainy season which is mostly difficult due to high infestation of ticks” said Mugacha.
The development of BOLVAC vaccine also demonstrates Government’s commitment to empowering small-scale holder and commercial farmers.
During the 2023 National budget presentation, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, revealed that Government committed ZWL$6, 6 billion for the construction and rehabilitation of dip tanks, surveillance and control as well as vaccination programmes.
The BOLVAC vaccination programme falls under Government’s National Integrated Ticks and tick-borne disease control strategy.
The country’s 2020-2025 Growth Plan identified animal health as a key intervention point which could boost the country’s economy towards attaining Vision 2030.