NARO Initiates Development of Foot And Mouth Disease Vaccine

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NARO has started the process of formulating and developing our own FMD vaccine.

The scientists have so far formulated two monovalent FMD candidate vaccines and are due for evaluation and further scrutiny by the country’s regulatory bodies (NDA and UNCST).

When the evaluation of the candidate vaccines comes out successful, NARO will be authorized to carry out trials for the determination of efficacy and safety.

If this level is also successful, the Government will further support NARO to produce for mass rollout as is happening with the anti-tick vaccine.

This revelation was made by Minister Frank Tumwebaze on the Floor of Parliament while presenting a statement on the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in the cattle corridor and the resultant quarantine.

There are currently 36 districts in Uganda currently affected by Foot and Mouth Disease and under quarantine including Budaka, Bukedea, Bukomansimbi, Bunyangabu, Butaleja, Fortportal City, and Gomba, among others.

Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) is a highly contagious viral disease that affects all cloven-hoofed (two-hoofed) animals. The disease spreads very fast through close contact between infected and non-infected animals. Foot and Mouth Disease is transmitted through aerosols (fluid droplets) breathed out by infected animals and contact with affected surfaces.

The aerosols can be transported by wind to far areas. The affected animals get wounds in the mouth, feet, and teats in female animals.

Whilst NARO works on the vaccine, the government has ordered 2.3M doses expected in a few months to come. A notable challenge associated with procuring FMD vaccines is that they cannot be bought off-shelf since they are biologicals with a short shelf life. One ought to order and the manufacture is commenced. This has been reflected in the delay in their supply chain.