Mash East Tackles January Disease Head-On

by | Mar 31, 2023 | Business, Local News | 0 comments

Mash East Tackles January Disease Head-On

Brian Rungano Temba

MARONDERA – Government continues to invest massively towards the construction and rehabilitation of dip tanks across the country in a move aimed at protecting the country’s national herd from recurring (theileriosis) January disease outbreaks.

Zimbabwe has been losing cattle from January disease which is usually rampant during the wet season for years.

Addressing farmers and stakeholders at Borderchurch Diptank in Chihota in Marondera recently, Directorate of Veterinary Services chief director Dr Josphat Nyika urged farmers to constantly engage with veterinary officers in their communities to reduce the spread of tick-borne diseases.

“Cattle dipping was made mandatory in 1910 and East Coast fever was eradicated in 1914,” said Dr Nyika.

“The resurgence of tick-borne diseases was to be witnessed in 1974 due to the closure of dip tanks because of the armed struggle after independence these tick-borne diseases were put under control until the emergence of the January disease in 2017.

“Owing to this situation at our disposal we need as farmers to be responsible and engage with relevant authorities within our communities to protect our cattle from the January disease.

“We need to make use of dip tanks and other complementary measures that will protect our livestock from this disease let’s report those who are irresponsible and poses a risk to the national herd,” he said.

Theileriosis is a disease that affects cattle and is transmitted by ticks. The highest number of cases of theileriosis tends to be encountered in January when traditionally the rainfall activity will be high.

Meanwhile, Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Apollonia Munzverengwi commended the Veterinary Services Department for implementing strategies to reduce the spread of January disease in Mashonaland East Province.

“Cattle and livestock in general play an important part in our lives, particularly in Mashonaland East which is an agrarian economy. As such livestock should be preserved,” said the Minister.

“I urge you to keep your dip tanks in good condition and bring all your cattle for dipping. Also, pay dipping fees to ensure there is no disruption in dipping services,” she said.