Zimbabwe misses target for vaccinating cattle against anthrax

A Zimbabwean government official said on Tuesday that a lack of funding is keeping the country from vaccinating its target number of cattle against anthrax this year.

The government's goal was to vaccinate 800,000 cattle throughout the nation. Zimbabwe, however, has only been able to vaccinate half of the target figure, New Ziana reports.

Chenjerai Njagu, the deputy director of the Veterinary Field Services Department, said that farmers are being encouraged to purchase vaccines against anthrax with their own money.

"This year the situation has not been good as the division of Veterinary Field Services failed to adequately vaccinate cattle as planned due to vaccine shortage emanating from financial constraints," Njagu said, according to New Ziana.

Multiple departments of the Zimbabwean government are underfunded, leaving them struggling to continue their operations under budgetary constraints.

A lack of funding for anthrax vaccination is keeping the country from being able to contain the deadly disease, which infects cattle and wild animals. Hundreds of people required treatment after consuming animals infected with anthrax.

Njagu said that the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare is using awareness campaigns to encourage farmers to report all sudden deaths of livestock and to discourage them from eating the potentially infected meat of the animals, New Ziana reports