UGANDA—The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries (MAAIF) has received 3 million doses of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccines from Egypt.

This  marks the first time Uganda has received such a large number of vaccine doses in one delivery, representing a significant step in combating the highly contagious livestock disease.

These vaccines acquired at subsidized costs, arrives at a critical time following a recent outbreak that led the Ministry to impose a quarantine on 32 districts, sparking concern in the cattle corridor—a region heavily dependent on milk and beef production.

The affected districts, including Luwero, Gomba, Isingiro, Kazo, Kiruhura, and Sembabule, have reported numerous FMD cases.

In response, the Ministry has banned the movement of livestock and livestock products into, out of, or through these districts to prevent further spread.

Uganda’s total susceptible animal herd is estimated at 44 million, necessitating an annual vaccine stock of 88 million doses for the bi-annual vaccination schedule, costing US$2 per dose and amounting to US$176 million per year.

The vaccines were formally received at Entebbe International Airport by Senior Presidential Advisor on Special Operations, General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, accompanied by the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries, Frank Tumwebaze.

Other dignitaries present included the Deputy Minister for Agriculture from Egypt, along with the Egyptian Defense Attaché to Uganda, the Minister of State for Animal Industry, Bright Rwamirama, and MAAIF Permanent Secretary, Maj. Gen. David Kasura Kyomukama.

This vaccine acquisition follows the quick engagement of the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) with Egyptian contacts, secured within just three months.

Muhoozi leveraged his longstanding relationship with Egyptian authorities to obtain the FMD vaccines from Cairo.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, staff Brig-Gen. Mohamed, the defense attaché at the Egyptian Embassy in Kampala, stated that the vaccines were part of Egypt’s national reserves, dispatched by directive of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to help Uganda overcome the outbreak swiftly.

On his part, Major General Mohsen Abdel Hakam Azouz, the Director of the Veterinary Service Department in Egypt, assured Minister Tumwebaze that this was the first batch of the 10 million vaccines Egypt is prepared to send.

Minister Tumwebaze praised the cooperation, noting the goal to produce a quadrivalent vaccine covering serotypes O, A, SAT-1, and SAT-2 to address all FMD strains in Uganda.

 Through this collaboration, the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) will produce a monovalent FMD vaccine with serotype SAT-1, to be combined with the trivalent vaccine from Egypt.

The Egyptian delegation also visited the NARO laboratories at the National Livestock Resources Research Institute (NaLIRRI) in Nakyesasa, Wakiso district, to assess facility readiness for joint FMD vaccine production.

Led by NARO Director General, Dr. Yona Baguma, they found the organization equipped for FMD diagnostics and poised to start local vaccine production.

Speaking during their visit, Prof. Dr. Saad commended NARO’s expertise and noted that additional equipment and specialized training are needed for complete local production.

Staff Brig-Gen. Mohamed also  expressed Egypt’s interest in establishing a vaccine factory in Uganda to serve the entire East African region.

Maj. Gen. Kasura-Kyomukama  finished by emphasizing on the need for local vaccine production to meet Uganda’s annual requirement of 88 million doses and assured that efforts are ongoing to contain the current outbreak and eliminate the threat in the long term.

The new vaccine doses will add to the 900,000 FMD vaccine doses dispatched to 46 districts two weeks ago.

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