Uganda and the Obstacles to Foot-and-Mouth Disease Control

Ankole breed cattle near Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda.    Stephanie L. Smith

Uganda is one of numerous countries around the world to have signed on to the UN Food & Agriculture Organization’s Progressive Control Pathway, aimed at reducing and eventually eliminating foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) from livestock herds. When I witnessed an FMD outbreak in Uganda 8 years ago, control efforts there were hampered by lack of resources, poor infrastructure, and pastoralists wary of government attempts to intervene and whose social traditions and economic necessities often clashed with disease control measures.

While these barriers have not disappeared today, Uganda has made improvements that place it in a better position to overcome the losses generated by this disease. These obstacles are not unique to Uganda, and the lessons learned here offer valuable assistance to nearly all countries embarking on the pathway to FMD elimination.

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