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KIRUHURA: Farmers Using Deadly Concoction to Treat Foot and Mouth Disease – Authorities

Authorities in Kiruhura district are bothered by reports that livestock farmers in the area are now using concoction to treat Foot and Mouth disease, a severe and highly contagious viral disease in cattle.

An outbreak of the disease which affects cattle, swine, sheep, goats and other cloven-hoofed ruminants, was reported in southwestern Uganda at the end of last year. As a result, the government imposed a quarantine on the districts of Gomba, Isingiro, Kazo, Kiruhura and Sembabule where the disease had been detected in many herds.

But amidst the quarantine, it has been reported that farmers are using local gin, petrol, battery cell powder and chicken droppings to make a concoction that they smear on the animals with the hope that it cures the disease. However, according to experts, there is no specific treatment for FMD.

Kiruhura District Veterinary Officer Grace Asiimwe says that the farmers have become impatient and in the absence of government vaccines, sought advice from fellow farmers who are misleading them into using the dangerous concoctions. However, Dr Asiimwe cautions that the concoctions have more side effects than the disease itself.

Kinoni Sub County Chairperson Fred Kaye says that farmers from his Sub County lost patience after losing cattle and goats to the disease. As a result, Aminadab Muhindo, the Kiruhura Resident District Commissioner and chairperson of the FMD task force has tasked all government veterinary doctors to start a campaign against the use of concoctions by farmers.

He says that Veterinary doctors should give daily reports on the spread of the disease, instead of waiting for the weekly updates, as has been the case.

The use of Concoctions comes a few days after the National Drug Authority arrested scores of people with fake drugs purportedly for the treatment of FMD.

Dr Jeanne Muhindo, the head of Veterinary Products in the National Drug Authority says that the authority received intelligence information from the Kazo District security team about adverts that were aired on radio stations in Kiruhura and Kazo districts marketing a particular drug for the treatment of Foot and Mouth Disease.

She said that it is illegal to sell drugs whose efficacy and quality has not been approved by the National Drug Authority.

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