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Uganda - Over 20% livestock in Kaabong infected with Nagana

At least two out of every ten cows in Kaabong district are infected with Nagana, a disease caused by tsetse flies. The new findings follow an infestation of tsetse flies in the district.

Dr. Branda Logwe, the Kaabong District Veterinary Officer, says the Tsetse flies spread to the district from the sub counties neighboring Kidepo National Game Park. He says the flies spread to the district through wildlife animals that have been straying from the game park.

Dr. Logwe notes that much as the tsetse flies have been in the district for some time, the recent rains have favored the growth of vegetation cover, which has triggered wildlife movement beyond the gazzetted areas.

“Just last month, we had elephants move up to Kaabong town council and since the flies move with them, other sub counties have also recorded tsetse flies infestation. We appeal for government support on tsetse flies control,” he said.

Mark Abuku, the Kaabong District LC V Chairperson, says the disease has cost farmers huge losses. He says the central government has done little to help in controlling the flies. According to Abuku, more than 200,000 animals in the district are at risk.

While Abuku is calling for a survey to investigate the prevalence of the disease in humans, the Chief Administrative Officer Kaabong, Richard Bukone Sajjabi says no tsetse fly infection has been recorded in humans in the district. Tsetse flies cause sleeping sickness in humans.

In his recent visit to the district, president Museveni agreed to conduct aerial spray against tsetse flies in Kaabong. Information from the district veterinary office show that plans are underway to spray the infested areas next year.

Nagana alias Animal Trypanosomiasis is usually transmitted through blood lymph and fluids of infected animals. It is caused by Flagellated protozoan parasites that live in the fluids and tissue of its host animal.

The disease can render livestock unproductive and, can also lead to death if not treated within one to two months. Livestock can also be a reservoir of the disease which can then be transmitted to humans. Nagana presents with intermittent fever, anemia, oedema, lacrimation, enlarged lymph nodes, abortion, decreased fertility and loss of appetite among others.

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