Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases (TBDs) affect livestock, a sector of the country’s economy that is worth over Shs27bn in capital.
They are directly linked to several factors that cause immense losses in the sector, such as reduced milk and meat production as well as high calf mortality rates.
Even more notoriously, the parasites have a high resistance to acaricides (chemicals used to spray against ticks), so much so, that up to 80% of animal farm inputs, countrywide, go towards preventing ticks and TBDs.
A solution has been found however, as MAK lecturer Dr. Margaret Saimo Kahwa has developed a new anti-tick vaccine that tackles, specifically, the challenge of tick resistance to chemicals. The vaccine has passed trials satisfactorily and its dose shall be dispensed on a bi-annual basis.
In addition, this medical breakthrough tackles a challenge in foreign exchange that the sector has been facing.
A whooping Shs 300Bn, every year, has been going towards importing veterinary supplies for controlling TBDs. This new vaccine, however, can not only be obtained locally, but also affordably, at a cost of Shs 3000 per dose.