One of the challenges that the livestock sector in Uganda has been and is still facing, is the outbreak of diseases such as foot and Mouth, Anthrax among others, which have left many animals dead in some parts of the country.
Disease management, on many occasions, has been challenged by the absence of quality infrastructures in the country where veterinary doctors can do blood sample testing before advising government on what to do in order to contain the spread of diseases across the country.
However, this may become history after government acquiring new state of the art laboratory to aid veterinary doctors to carry out clinical laboratory testing on samples of suspected infected livestock across the country.
The new Laboratory was commissioned at the National Livestock Resources Research Institute (NaliRRI) Nakyesesa, Namulonge in Wakiso District.
NaLIRRI is one of the research institutes under the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO).
The Regional Biosecurity Diagnostic Laboratory (RDL) was funded by the US Department of Defense (DoD) initiated under the Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP) in Uganda being implemented by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and its valued at Shs7billion.
The objective of the Laboratory is support Livestock Diseases Diagnosis and Surveillance with in the country such that the country has the capacity to detect an out brake of Livestock Disease’s such as Foot and Mouth Disease’s, Brucellosis and highly Infectious Diseases like Anthrax.
Once the Diseases are detected and monitor them the veterinary Experts will be in position to develop coherent and appropriate Diseases Management interventions such that they do not negatively Impact on the livestock sector.
Commissioning the Laboratory on Tuesday, Dr. Ambrose Agona the Director General of NARO who represented the Minister for Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries commended the USA government for supporting Uganda’s Agricultural sector through the development of Research Infrastructure development which is key towards the development of the sector.
“The US government has been our close friends towards supporting Uganda’s agriculture sector. Many achievements have been achieved through the cooperation, the recent one being the laboratory we are commissioning today which will help our scientists to carry out more clinical research,” Agona said.
He urged the scientists at NaLIRRI to utilize the facility effectively by producing information that can help livestock farmers in decision making.
Commenting on the development, Dr. Swadiq Mugerwa the Head of Research at the National Livestock Resources Research Institute, said the newly commissioned laboratory will help veterinary clinical officers to carry out rapid diagnosis of various livestock diseases.
“By diagnosis we mean that rapidly and accurately and in short time detect an occurrence of the disease, address it and handle it before it develop into an outbreak for the government to declare or install quarantine on movement of Livestock and their by-products .The diagnosis and surveillance will help farmers to manage diseases properly and also help them to implement Livestock health management Interventions,” he explained.
Major Miller Micheal, the Chief of Office of the Security Cooperation at the US Embassy in Uganda, said during the event that the USA government is committed to supporting the government of Uganda in sectors of the economy such that the local people can be socially and economically empowered.