National News

FOA constructs new animal Lab

People pose for a group photo at the new animal health diagnostic laboratory site in Gudele on Tuesday October 23, 2018 (photo by Kitab A Unango)

By Kitab A Unango

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) with support from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has started constructing a national animal health diagnostic laboratory for the country.

Since independence, the South Sudan Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries has largely relied on neighboring countries for laboratory confirmation of animal disease.

The national level veterinary facility, which is the first of its kind in the whole country, will provide surveillance support to the over 12 million heads of cattle and about 11million goats including sheep in the young wealthy animal resource of South Sudan.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the new facility on Tuesday in Gudele, the national Minister of Animal Resources and Fisheries, James Janka Duku said it would improve the country’s current economic crisis that has affected almost every aspect of life.

“This support will ultimately translate into an improvement of food security and livestock-based resource of the majority of South Sudanese,” Janka said.

According to FAO Country Representative, Feire Vauthier, the new veterinary diagnostic facility located in Gudele will help improve the provision of evidence based animal health services as well as implementing an effective disease reporting, monitoring and control system in the country.

“The facility will also help in the control of trans-boundary animal diseases and to strengthen diagnostic support to the control of zoomotic diseases that spill from people to animals,” Vauthier said.

In his remarks at the same occasion, the Director of veterinary services, Dr. Jacob Maiju Korok said South Sudan had qualified lab technicians but they lack facilities from where to execute their duties.

“Currently there is no animal health laboratory in the whole country though trained lab technicians are available. We hope the laboratory when fully functional, will help improve animal health service delivery and regular reporting of animal health situation to the World Health Organization,” Dr. Maiju said.

Livestock plays a crucial role in the country’s food security with over 60 percent of the population depending on livestock for their livelihoods despite the challenge of animal disease.

 

 

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