Story by Kenias Chivuzhe
CASES of January disease have dropped significantly in Manicaland Province on the back of an intensive cattle dipping regime and distribution of tick-grease under the Presidential Tick-Grease Programme.
The scourge of January Disease saw more than 4 000 cattle succumbing to the disease in Manicaland two years ago, affecting many farmers in the province.
Farmers are grateful to government interventions which have reduced cases of January disease in the province.
“When our area was affected by January disease, the government introduced the presidential tick grease and intensive dipping regime. Through the programme, cattle dying of January disease have significantly decreased as compared to the two previous years,” noted a farmer.
“This year the outbreak is suppressed as we complied with the veterinary services directives taking advantage of the government support. At the moment the January disease cases are few. I had 35 herd of cattle before, all died except one. After the death of the cattle, I bought two more. Due to the tick grease and dipping regime, the cattle are increasing with no death recorded in the last 12 months,” noted another.
Manicaland Provincial Veterinary Director Dr Charles Guri spoke on the successes recorded in fighting January disease.
“Most cattle died with the province losing cattle surpassing 4 000 more than a year ago. This year through the dipping regime and availing of tick-grease we have been able to dip our cattle consistently. The Presidential Blitz Tick Grease Programme has reduced the January disease cases. Every week starting around February were recording 43 cases with 8 to 12 dying every day. We are better off than other provinces that are recording high figures. At the height of the January disease, we lost more than 4000 cattle with more than 100 dying every week,” he said.
At national level, efforts are also being escalated to fight the scourge.
“As a country in the last four to five years, we have lost over 500 000 herd of cattle and that’s by no means a small number. As a reaction to that the government has launched a war against January Disease. Every effort is being made to control the disease. We have upscaled awareness to fight the scourge,” said Dr Josphate Nyika-Chief Director in the Directorate of Veterinary Services.
Meanwhile, the government has also launched “Operation Nyama Yabvepi” to ensure people do not consume meat that is not inspected and certified for human consumption.