Deadly Outbreak Of ‘Black Quarter Disease’ In Upper Nile State

Over 20 herds of cattle have died of Black quarter disease in Maiwut County, Upper Nile State

By Dr. Peter Kayier Tut – Veterinarian

Malakal, March 25, 2012 (SSNA) — I have been contracted by CARE SS, an international organization working in South Sudan-Upper Nile State Program to conduct Refresher Training for Community Based Animal Health workers and to facilitate as well the livestock Deworming and Treatment campaign covering all the remote payams of Maiwut County. It was during this tour and exercise that we had come to encounter dozens reports from communities on disease outbreak which I had identified or suspected to be Black Quarter base on clinical signs and symptoms observed.

It was on 16/3/2012 when I personally came across the outbreak in one of the cattle camp, a heifer of two years was found dead above in Lolkuoth Jetome Payam in Maiwut County. I approached the community to have the full picture of the disease incidence; the community informed us that, this is not the first kind of death reiterating that several animals died of the same disease showing the same clinical symptoms. They said many animals have died in several locations, but no action has been taken by various stakeholders as far as the outbreak is concern.

The informants reported that those animals that died of the disease showed loss of appetite prior to onset of disease with good body condition and the disease targets animals between ages of one to two years. Death commence within 24-48 hr and an estimated 20 herd have died of the disease according to the various reports receive in different payams of Maiwut county.

Clinical Manifestation:

They reported that animals lost appetite, suspended ruminations, and lameness, and generalized swelling over the back, hip, and shoulders prior to onset of the disease. I tried to dialogue with communities to strictly take the following disease outbreak containment measures;

Isolate all infected animal from the camp.

Dispose off carcasses far from homestead and cattle camp to avoid further contamination and spread of the disease

Burning the upper layer of soil to eradicate the left over spores

Affected cattle must be removed from healthy one to avoid putting them at risk.

We urged the concern authorities both at state and national level to immediately take necessary requirements in coordinating and communicating information in order to deploy means for rapid intervention to control and prevent the disease spread.

This piece of information has been written to inform the concern authorities both the Upper Nile state Ministry of Animal Resources and fisheries and the National Ministry of animal Resources and fisheries to move out mobilized resources and conduct Mass vaccination campaign for the remaining susceptible herd of livestock in Maiwut County.

The community of Maiwut County composed mainly of Nuer Gaajak-sub Jikany and Kuma ethnic groups. Livestock keeping and rearing beside agriculture practices remained the sole source of the livelihood. Veterinary service Delivery system has not been established in the area and the attempts to control prevent livestock endemic diseases remain to be a community-Based intervention rather than veterinary conventional services delivery.

Since the country swing to mobilize incomes from other sources, livestock sector can be fully supported and its subsequence exploitation to boost our socio-economic growth.

Thank you in anticipation,
Dr. Peter Kayier Tut
Upper Nile University
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