Zimbabwe develops January disease vaccine

Tanyaradzwa Kutaura |  1 year ago | local

Government’s thrust to initiate home grown solutions is bearing fruit as the country has managed to develop the first Commercial Batch of Theileriosis (BOLVAC) Vaccine aimed at bolstering livestock immunity against January disease.

This development comes at a time when the country had been losing a considerable number of livestock to January disease.

In an interview with Star FM News, Directorate Veterinary Services Chief Director Dr Josphat Nyika said the vaccine will augment efforts to deal with the effects of the January disease.

“We are excited as the department of veterinary services and indeed as farmers and the whole nation on this breakthrough in terms of the production of the first Commercial Batch of Theileriosis (BOLVAC) Vaccine,” he said.

“This BOLVAC vaccine produced by our central laboratory will confer lifelong immunity to the animal that would have been vaccinated.

“As may be aware we have been losing a number of cattle from the January disease, the vaccine will augment the dipping exercise,” he said.

There are four (4) major tick borne diseases in Zimbabwe namely Anaplasmosis (Gallsickness), Babesiosis (Redwater), Theileriosis (January Disease) and Heartwater.

Vaccination or immunisation using Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis and Theileriosis vaccines is an important component of the Integrated Ticks and Tick-borne Disease Control Strategy(ITTBDCS). The other Component of the strategy include dipping and acaricide resistance monitoring.

The Department of Veterinary Technical Services (DVTS) has been processing Anaplasmosis and Babesiosis vaccine but had no capacity to produce Theileriosis(BOLVAC).

After receiving financial support from Government and development partners DVTS managed to produce commercially the first batch of 20 460 dose of Theileriosis(BOLVAC) vaccine on the 20th of August 2022.

Zimbabwe can now produce vaccines against 3 out of 4 the major TBD prevalent in the country. With such capacity the country is now ready to roll-out its Integrated Ticks and Tick-borne Disease Control Strategy (ITTBDCS).