Free vaccination for Newcastle-affected areas

Member of Parliament for Tswapong South and Assistant Minister of Agriculture Oreeditse Molebatsi on Tuesday told parliament that his ministry will provide Batswana with free vaccinations in areas affected by newcastle, which affects chickens. Molebatsi said there are an unusually high number of deaths of chickens across the country.

“Newcastle disease is a viral disease of birds that affects both domestic and wild birds, including ostriches. It is preventable by vaccination. The disease is endemic in Botswana where it circulates among backyard chickens as opposed to commercially reared ones as the former are not regularly vaccinated against the disease,” he explained.

He said although the disease is epidemic, sporadic outbreaks occur when weather conditions are favorable to the virus. He stated that the current outbreak started in the southern district from June and later spread to the South East, Kweneng, Central, Kgatleng and North West districts. He also said there were no reported cases in commercial flocks or wild birds because commercial chickens are regularly vaccinated against the disease.

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This period, running from May 20 to 31 2024, is crucial for those who have not yet registered to vote. This announcement comes in response to a significant shortfall in registered voters following the recent registration period. As it stands, only 62% of the target number of voters registered, leaving a considerable gap.With Botswana's general elections scheduled for October, every eligible citizen needs to register and exercise their...

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