Uganda to Receive 3 Million Doses of FMD Vaccines from Egypt to Combat Outbreak

Uganda to Receive 3 Million Doses of FMD Vaccines from Egypt to Combat Outbreak

The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries is set to receive a shipment of 3 million doses of FMD vaccines from Egypt.

This development was confirmed during a meeting between the Minister of Agriculture Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, and a delegation of Egyptian officials, including Major General Mohsen Abdel Hakam Azouz, Director of the Veterinary Service Department in Egypt.

The Egyptian delegation assured Minister Tumwebaze that the vaccines would arrive in Uganda on Thursday afternoon.

This shipment marks the first batch of a larger commitment, with Egypt prepared to send a total of 10 million vaccine doses to Uganda.

The Egyptian initiative follows a directive from President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who ordered the quick dispatch of 6 million doses from Egypt’s strategic reserves to aid Uganda.

"His Excellency President el-Sisi ordered a quick supply of 6 million doses of the vaccine from Egypt's strategic reserves to help our brothers in Uganda overcome the pandemic quickly. As I speak, there are people preparing to load the first batch of 3 million doses to land in Uganda this Thursday," stated Staff Brig-Gen. Mohamed, the defense attaché at the Egyptian Embassy in Kampala.

The delegation, which included Prof. Dr. Mohamed Ahmed Saad, Director of the Veterinary Serum and Vaccine Research Institute in Egypt, and Dr. Abdel-Hamid Bazid of the MEVAC Company, are experts in vaccine production.

They aim to explore technical cooperation with Uganda for producing vaccines with international quality standards.

Minister Tumwebaze expressed his gratitude for the cooperative efforts, emphasizing the goal of enhancing collaboration to produce a quadrivalent vaccine targeting the four FMD strains prevalent in Uganda: serotypes O, A, SAT-1, and SAT-2.

Under this plan, Uganda's National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) will produce a monovalent FMD vaccine with serotype SAT-1, to be reconstituted with the trivalent vaccine from Egypt, forming a complete quadrivalent vaccine.

The Egyptian delegation visited NARO's National Livestock Resources Research Institute (NaLIRRI) in Nakyesasa, Wakiso district, on Tuesday. They assessed the laboratories' readiness for joint vaccine production.

Dr. Yona Baguma, NARO's Director General, highlighted the organization’s capability in FMD diagnostics and ongoing efforts to commence local vaccine production.

Prof. Dr. Saad commended the expertise of NARO scientists and the lab capabilities, noting the need for additional equipment and specialized training for local production.

Brig-Gen. Mohamed revealed Egypt’s interest in establishing a vaccine production facility in Uganda to serve the entire East African region.

Maj. Gen. Kasura-Kyomukama, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries, underscored the urgent need for local vaccine production, citing the annual requirement of up to 88 million doses.

He assured that the arrival of these vaccines would bolster efforts to contain the current outbreak, adding to the 900,000 doses recently distributed to 46 districts.