THARPARKAR - The Sindh Livestock and Fisheries Department has launched the PPR vaccination drive in Tharparkar district. Provincial Minister for Livestock and Fisheries inaugurated the campaign being conducted in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the FAO said on Saturday.

The campaign is part of the response to the drought in Tharparkar. The vaccination will prevent livestock loss against Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) disease also known as ‘goat plague’. It is a viral disease of goats and sheep characterized by fever, sores in the mouth, diarrhoea, pneumonia, and sometimes death. Emphasizing the importance of animal health for Tharparkar, Mina` Dowlatchahi FAO Representative in Pakistan said the vaccination will help ensure healthy livestock which will be instrumental in ensuring food security and sustainable livelihoods for the already drought stressed communities in the area.

Tharparkar hosts more than 20pc small ruminants of whole province Sindh

She also mentioned that the report Sindh Drought Need Assessment (SDNA October 2018) conducted by FAO in collaboration with Natural Disaster Consortium (NDC) reveals that of all the surveyed household, 25% reported death of their cattle, 21% in buffaloes, 53% in goats, 45% in sheep, 20% in camels 18% in donkeys, and 57% in poultry during past six months.

Tharparkar district hosts more than 20% small ruminant of the whole province Sindh. The small ruminants are predisposed to multi-stress in the district, which make them susceptible to lethal diseases like PPR.  The disease can be prevented and eradicated through vaccination.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Farrukh Toirov, Deputy FAO Representative in Pakistan, said that target groups for proposed action includes subsistence livestock farmers, small-scale agriculture farmers and women headed households. The intervention will vaccinate 3 million small ruminants in Tharparkar and 1.2 million in Umerkot.

Drought in district Tharparkar directly affects the growth of vegetation as well as water resource for livestock, which in turn results in loss of animal production, and livestock high mortality rates, which is a direct threat to food security and livelihoods.