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toubab1020 Posted - 21 Jun 2023 : 18:16:53


#National News
FAO supports NCD vaccination campaign in 10 districts

Jun 21, 2023, 1:59 PM | Article By: Fatou Dem

In response to the call to reduce the annual losses to domestic poultry production from the Newcastle Disease (NCD), the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization through the Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change in The Gambia Project (AACCP) in collaboration with the Directorate of Livestock Services (DLS) recently embarked a mass vaccination of domestic poultry against this deadly disease.

The exercise which cost GMD 1,645,800, was carried out in 10 districts and is part of FAO’s continuous support towards ensuring food security in The Gambia through the sustainable control of livestock diseases like NCD. The Department of Livestock Services visited villages and vaccinated chickens mostly owned by rural women and youth as key actors for securing household food and nutrition security.

Cognizant of the socio-economic importance of domestic poultry, the vaccination campaign was carried out in project intervention sites of NBR, CRR-N and URR-N.

Newcastle Disease is a highly contagious viral disease of birds including domestic fowls (chicken). The disease is endemic in The Gambia with surges of epidemic out-breaks annually that may wipe out significant numbers of poultry.

It would be recalled that the 2016 Livestock Census reported that disease out-breaks are the main reasons for low productivity of domestic poultry. Attaining sustainable food security remains difficult while vast numbers of poultry die annually from preventable diseases. FAO supports disease prevention and control programmes such as vaccination campaigns as the most cost-effective means for prevention, control and even eradication of infectious animal diseases in the country. Vaccination against NCD is a cost-effective strategy to increase the productivity of traditional poultry. This will assist in poverty alleviation and the improvement of food security.

It is envisaged that vaccinating domestic poultry in the 10 districts of NBR, CRRN and URRN will immensely protect these resources and support farmers build on wealth from this stock as well as protect the production schemes and the cockerels funded by the project. FAO assured that with high vaccination, coverages in the 10 intervention districts will prevent outbreaks of these diseases and as such, increase in production and productivity that will improve incomes through livestock sales and increase intake of animal protein.

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