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FAO boosts local veterinary services with cold storage room donation

FAO boosts local veterinary services with cold storage room donation

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on Thursday donated a freezer room and a cold storage room valued at US$ 26,000 (approx. N$ 500,000) to the Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS) under the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform.

The donation is set to bolster Namibia’s veterinary services and enhance livestock health.

Strategically located at the DVS satellite office in Nkurenkuru, Kavango West region, these cold storage rooms mark a crucial advancement in the DVS’s capacity to combat animal diseases and enhance livestock health in the northern regions beyond the veterinary cordon fence, colloquially known as the “red line”.

The newly acquired freezer and cold rooms are poised to revolutionize vaccine storage by maintaining optimal temperatures, thereby preserving vaccine efficacy and bolstering vaccination campaigns. Additionally, they will facilitate improved sample preservation, allowing biological samples to be stored for extended periods and aiding in precise disease diagnosis and monitoring. Moreover, the expanded storage capacity will fortify biosecurity measures, curtailing disease spread and safeguarding livestock health.

Eugene Kanguatjivi, FAO National Project Coordinator, expressed the organization’s commitment to supporting the Namibian government in bolstering veterinary services and livestock health. He emphasized the critical role of cold storage facilities in ensuring vaccine availability, accurate diagnoses, and ultimately protecting the livelihoods of livestock farmers.

The donation was made possible by completing the FAO project titled “Emergency Technical Support to Control the Spread of Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) in Namibia”. This initiative aimed at enhancing disease surveillance, vaccination coverage, and the overall capacity of veterinary services to manage and prevent outbreaks of CBPP, a highly contagious bacterial disease affecting cattle.

Dr. Sara Gottlieb, DVS State Veterinarian based in Nkurenkuru, lauded the donation’s significance, noting its potential to streamline operations in the Kavango West region. She highlighted the logistical challenges previously faced in storing vaccines in the neighboring region of Rundu. She expressed gratitude for the improved efficiency and reduced risk of vaccine ineffectiveness brought about by the new cold storage facilities.

In addition to the cold storage room donation, FAO supported DVS with extensive training for over 3000 farmers across all northern regions on CBPP awareness. Furthermore, camping equipment, laboratory gear, and a vehicle were donated to strengthen DVS’s capacity to control livestock diseases as part of the same project.


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