High cases of zoonotic diseases in Arua worry veterinarians

zoonotic diseases

Arua, Uganda | URN | Arua health officials are worried about the prevalence of seven zoonotic human and livestock diseases in the district.

The diseases as identified by the Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Ministries include Rabies, Anthrax, Trypanosomiasis, Brucellosis, Rift Valley Fever, plague and Black quarter, some of which also affect humans.

Six of these have hit Arua district over the years causing a negative economic impact on the farmers and communities.

A report from Arua District Veterinary Department shows that plague is prevalent in the Logiri and Vurra sub counties as a result of the high number of rodents in the homesteads while rabies cuts across all the 28 sub counties owing to the high number of un-vaccinated dogs. One dog bite is reported every month.

Other diseases like Anthrax, Trypanosomiasis and RVF are prevalent in the areas of Madi Okollo, Odupi, Omugo and Uriama in Terego. Brucellosis has been reported in urban areas of Arua town where meat and milk consumption are high.

Dr. Willy Nguma, the Arua District Veterinary Officer and coordinator One Health in West Nile Region, says the six diseases have had a devastating effect on animal husbandry and human life in the district.

On April 25th, 2020, Arua district hosted the world veterinary day celebrations with emphasis on protecting the environment for better human and animal life.

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Dr. Sylvia Baluka, the President Uganda Veterinary Association said Arua was selected because of its proximity to the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC and South Sudan which have poor human and veterinary services that has trickled into West Nile.

She said they chose to host the veterinary day in Arua to raise community awareness on the six prevalent diseases and how to manage them.

Dr. Baluka however said they couldn’t implement their planned activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.