Fueling issues slow anthrax vaccinations in Ghana

Health officials in Ghana are facing a challenge in the attempt to vaccinate animals against anthrax after an April outbreak, especially the fueling of vehicles to move into communities.

Thomas Anyarikeya, the Upper East regional director of veterinary services, said that while his outfit informed local governments of the fueling crisis, only one district assembly responded. Anyarikeya appealed to the other assemblies to provide his campaign with funds to carry out the vaccination process, GBC Ghana reports.

In April, an anthrax outbreak in the Upper East region of Ghana led to two deaths after the victims ate the meat of a dead animal that may have been infected with the disease. The matter occurred in the community of Googo.

The Upper East Regional Health Service then received 3,400 vaccinations to give to animals to prevent the spread of anthrax. Each vaccination costs approximately 28 U.S. cents, according to GBC Ghana.

The district assembly in the area of the incident collaborated with veterinary services to launch a campaign to educate citizens on anthrax and on the importance of vaccinating animals. Ruminants, a type of mammal that includes goats, sheep and cattle, are particularly affected by anthrax.

Humans can become infected by anthrax from eating undercooked meat from infected animals, handling products made from infected animals or breathing in anthrax spores from infected animal products, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.