A community Animal Health Worker vaccinating cattle in South Sudan. (Credit: VWB/VSF)

Livestock diseases on the rise in several counties in Upper Nile

The Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries in South Sudan’s Upper Nile State reported that approximately seven counties in the state have reported an outbreak of diseases among livestock amid the absence of vaccinations normally provided by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Muzammil Ojok, the state’s Minister of Livestock and Fisheries, told Radio Tamazuj last week reports of livestock infections have been confirmed in the counties of Maiwut, Longochuk, Renk, and Maban, among others. He indicated that the prevalent diseases in these counties include hemorrhagic septicemia, anthrax, blackleg, and pneumonia.

“The infection rate among livestock in these counties has reached 55 percent, necessitating urgent intervention from relevant authorities, particularly FAO. There is also the presence of diseases such as peste des petits ruminants (PPR) and sheep pox among sheep in the counties of Fashoda and Fangak,” Minister Ojok said. “There are centers in place to screen animals coming from Sudan to prevent the spread of diseases. Malakal is the only county in the state where a comprehensive livestock vaccination campaign is being implemented.”

The minister acknowledged that the state government has limited capacity to provide security for herders in grazing lands. He emphasized the importance of intervention from specialized entities, especially FAO, to commence vaccination operations against the diseases spreading among livestock in these counties.