Liberia: MoA, Partner Begin Vaccination for Rabies, Others


The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has begun the conduct of vaccines against the peste des petits ruminants (PPR) disease which affects goats and sheep as well as the vaccines against rabies which affects domestic animals, mainly dogs. 

The exercise which started a few days ago will cover all of the counties within the South East, according to the FAO.

Last week the Emergency Center for Transboundary Animal Disease (ECTAD) department of the FAO presented several pieces of equipment and materials to the MOA to carry out the conduct of the vaccines exercise in the affected counties.

The equipment and materials which include protective equipment, syringes, surveillance materials etc were handed over to Joseph R.N Anderson, Chief Veterinary Officer and Senior Director of Animal Resources at the Ministry of Agriculture.

Presenting the items, the Country Team Leader of ECTAD, Dr. Ibrahim Gashash Ahmed said that the exercise is significant in order to control animal diseases in the country.

According to him, his institution is working with the MoA through Community Animals Health Workers (CAHW) to conduct the exercise in the targeted counties.

“We are working with the Ministry of Agriculture to control animal diseases in Liberia. We are going to distribute 20,000 doses of vaccines for rabies and 300 doses of PPR vaccines. The rabies and PPR are serious diseases that seriously affect animals and  Liberia has signed the SDG to eradicate them.  But this is a continuation of effort being made by Liberia to make sure she joins the comity of nations. This is to ensure that there will be no more rabies diseases by the end of 2030,” he informed reporters.

Ahmed said, the vaccination of rabies is an ongoing effort of the Ministry of Agriculture, stating that every year at least 10,000 dogs are vaccinated.

According to him, about six counties have been covered so far since the rabies vaccine was launched.

He noted that Liberia has always launched the rabies vaccine on World Rabies Day annually to create awareness about the eradication of the disease in the country.

“We have discovered that the Ministry is improving toward the coverage of the rabies vaccines. Many parts of the country have been reached and this is why we at this time are extending the exercise to counties in the South East,” he mentioned.

Commenting on the vaccines against the PPR which affects small ruminants, Ahmed said sheep and goats in Liberia serves as basic incomes generation for people in the rural areas and as such the country has joined other countries to eradicate the disease.

“The PPR virus is a very serious disease that limits the incomes of rural people. This is why Liberia is joining the comity of nations to eradicate the disease. We don’t have statistics about the level of eradication of the disease, but the vaccination against the disease is gradually improving.   Many of the farmers are getting more education about the disease to overcome any outbreak,” he explained.

According to him, as the result of more awareness, rural people are getting to know how to overcome the outbreak of the PPR disease.

Receiving the items on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture, Jeanine Milly Cooper , the  Chief Veterinary Officer and Senior Director of Animal Resources at the Ministry, Joseph R.N Anderson, said that the Ministry was pleased about the donation and was going to make sure that the items are used for the intended purpose.

He said animal health is a peculiar issue that his Ministry is addressing with the support of international partners.

“The Ministry takes the health of the animals very seriously to improve the lives of the farmers. We are calling on all of our livestock farmers in the targeted counties to take advantage of the opportunity to vaccinate their animals,” he said.