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Egypt Donates 3 Million FMD Vaccines to Uganda :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Egypt Donates 3 Million FMD Vaccines to Uganda

Press release
the vaccines were expected to arrive in Uganda on Thursday 23rd May 2024.
23 May 2024 10:35
The Egyptian delegation visiting NARO facilities for vaccine production. Credit Frank Mugabi/ NARO
The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries will receive 3 million doses of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccines. The vaccines bolster efforts to curb the current outbreak affecting some parts of the country.

Uganda has been battling Foot and Mouth Diseases since early this year. Over thirty-six districts were affected by the disease by the end of February 2024.

The promise according to a press statement was made at a meeting between the Agriculture Minister, Frank Tumwebaze, with a delegation of Egyptian officials at his office in Kampala on Wednesday.

Major General Mohsen Abdel Hakam Azouz, the Director of the Veterinary Service Department in Egypt, led the Egyptian delegation. He promised that the vaccines were expected in Uganda on Thursday afternoon.     They revealed that this would only be the first batch of the 10 million vaccines Egypt is prepared to dispatch to Uganda. 

Staff Brig-Gen. Mohamed, the defense attaché at the Egyptian Embassy in Kampala, said the vaccines were part of the national reserves for Egypt, but a directive was given by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to dispatch them to Uganda after learning of the current FMD outbreak.       

"His Excellency President el-Sisi ordered a quick supply of 6 million doses of the vaccine from Egypt's strategic reserves to help our brothers in Uganda overcome the pandemic quickly. As I speak, there are people preparing to load the first batch of 3 million doses to land in Uganda tomorrow, Thursday," Mohamed noted.     

He said the delegation members, including Prof. Dr. Mohamed Ahmed Saad, the Director of the Veterinary Serum and Vaccine Research Institute in Egypt, and Dr. Abdel-Hamid Bazid of the MEVAC Company, were experts specialized in producing the required vaccines with international quality, and they were here to explore technical cooperation between the two countries in vaccine production.      

Tumwebaze commended the two governments for the cooperation that will see the first batch of vaccines arrive tomorrow. 

He said the ultimate goal was to enhance collaboration to produce a quadrivalent vaccine with serotypes O, A, SAT-1, and SAT-2 that can curb the four strains of FMD in Uganda.        

Through this arrangement, the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) will produce a monovalent FMD vaccine with serotype SAT-1 to be reconstituted with the trivalent vaccine from Egypt containing serotypes O, A, and SAT-2, to have a complete quadrivalent vaccine.     

The Egyptian delegation visited the NARO laboratories at the National Livestock Resources Research Institute (NaLIRRI) in Nakyesasa in Wakiso district on Tuesday, where they assessed the readiness and capability of the facilities for joint FMD vaccine production.     

The NARO Director General, Dr. Yona Baguma, revealed that the organisation was already equipped to do diagnostics for FMD including identifying the different strains, and efforts are on to start local production of vaccines, led around them.      

Prof. Dr. Mohamed Ahmed Saad said they were impressed by the expertise of NARO scientists, the capabilities of the laboratories, and noted that some equipment needed to be brought in, coupled with specialized training in running them, before the entire production process is done locally. 

Staff Brig-Gen. Mohamed revealed that Egypt was keen on establishing a factory in Uganda to produce vaccines not just for Uganda but for the East African region as a whole. 

Maj. Gen. Kasura-Kyomukama, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries, noted that there was a need for local production of the vaccine since the country requires up to 88 million doses each year.

He assured the country that all efforts are being made to ensure that the current outbreak is contained and the threat eliminated in the end.      

The vaccines arriving in the country will add to the 900,000 doses of Foot and Mouth Disease vaccines that were dispatched to 46 districts two weeks ago.  

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