Researchers have called for collective action to fight Paratuberculosis,
a neglected disease that is threatening livestock in Africa. The disease, caused by bacterium Mycobacterium avium subspecies, affects livestock such as cattle sheep and goats.
The disease is contagious, chronic and sometimes a fatal infection that
primarily affects the small intestine of ruminants. It can enter an animal’s
body through air or the mouth while eating.
Some of the signs include increased projectile diarrhoea, the loss of weight in cattle and
general animal weakness.
Ahmed Wahed, lead researcher of paratuberculosis from German says, there is
need for joint interventions by countries and researchers in Africa to ensure
that there is enough awareness about the disease so as to prevent an outbreak
of an epidemic.
//Cue; "The good method...
Cue out... any disease whatever."//
Anna Rose Okurut the commissioner animal health in the Ministry of
Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries says that despite the limited
research about the disease in Africa, the diagnosis of animals remains
difficult leaving people and the animals susceptible to being infected by the
//Cue in; "Diagnosis of Paratuberculosis ...
Cue out... becomes so sick."//
Okurut was speaking to a team of researchers from across Africa
gathered at Protea Hotel in Entebbe, to strategize on how to
sensitize the continent on the threat.
The disease has for long been neglected by the African agricultural authorities
which according to researchers, it is slowly increasing with an estimated prevalence
of 4 per cent across Africa.
John David Kabasa, the Principal, College of Veterinary Medicine
and Animal bio-security says, there is an increase in the spread of animal
diseases in human beings because of the increase in populations amongst
Africans who in turn encroach on habitats supposed to be used by both wild and
domestic animals for grazing.
He calls for increased research on how to prevent paratuberculosis that can
easily spread from animals to humans.
//Cue in; "Yes, all diseases...
Cue out... global health security."//
//Cue in; "Naye Paratuberculosis...
Cue out... imagine oba neglected."//
Currently, Makerere University and a host of 30 other researchers
are trying to find solutions on how to prevent further spread of paratuberculosis
amongst the different communities in Africa.