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South Sudan unveils new animal disease diagnostic lab

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December 8, 2019 (JUBA) The government of South Sudan has officially unveiled the first animal disease central diagnostic laboratory to identify common tropical diseases affecting livestock.

A cattle keeper poses with one of his animals at the cattle camps in Terekeka on 29 September 2011 (Photo: FAO/Ogolla.E)

The Vice President, James Wani Igga said the new facility will enhance the global system of detecting and preventing diseases.

“South Sudan needs to conduct research and enhance global systems for preventing, detecting and diagnosing diseases,” he said.

Igga stressed that the new laboratory facility will also strengthen animal’s health laboratory network and boost conduct of comprehensive researches with government and the private sector.

South Sudan’s Livestock and Fisheries minister, James Janka Duku said the newly inaugurated laboratory was the first one in the region.

“This laboratory is classified internationally as level one equipped to diagnose common tropical animal diseases in South Sudan. The inauguration comes on time meet the current state of emergency declared by the president on the flooding in the country,” he said.

Meanwhile, Meshack Malo, the country representative for the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), said they have trained enough manpower to run the newly unveiled animal facility.

“We have 18 technicians that have been trained and will run this laboratory. We have 71 other technicians trained out of Juba to samples get to reach this place in the right forms,” said Meshack.

“We want to assure you we will work to ensure the livestock sector increases the gross domestic product of the country”, he added.

The animal laboratory was funded by the Japanese government and implemented by FAO through its trans-boundary animal project.

South Sudan reportedly ranks 7th in livestock farming in Africa and over 65 percent of its population relies on livestock for their survival.

Last year, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization embarked on its biggest ever livestock vaccination campaign in South Sudan, aimed at protecting over 9 million animals from frequent disease outbreaks.

(ST)

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