Milk Vendors Defy Quarantine

1859 Views Soroti, Uganda

In short
Justine Okello, a milk vendor from Gweri Sub County says she had not received any communication stopping her from operating. He explains that they have not been sensitized on what role they have to play to control the spread of the foot and mouth disease.

Despite the ban on the sale of animals and all animal products following the outbreak of the foot and mouth disease in Soroti, for milk vendors it is business as usual. In July this year, ministry of Agriculture, animal industries and fisheries imposed quarantine on the sale of beef and animal products in districts of Teso including Soroti, Ngora, Kumi and Bukedea in July, 2014.
 
This was aimed at containing the spread of the disease. Despite the quarantine, milk vendors in Soroti have continued with normal business. Justine Okello, a milk vendor from Gweri Sub County says she had not received any communication stopping her from operating.  He explains that they have not been sensitized on what role they have to play to control the spread of the foot and mouth disease.

Julius Oiko, a milk vendor from Agora Parish, Kamuda Sub County says the veterinary office closed cattle markets and slaughter houses in the district but they were told nothing. A cup of Milk is sold at 500 shillings only. Michael Iwalei, a milk vendor at Omat- itei in Gweri Sub County says they were allowed to continue operating despite of the quarantine. He says one of the vets who vaccinated his cows two weeks ago told him, the foot and mouth disease doesn’t affect milk.
 
Jane Ajilong, a resident of Nakatunya ward in Soroti Municipality says since the quarantine was imposed she stopped eating meat but takes milk. Dr. Patrick Eyudu,the  Sorot  District  Veterinary officer says his office stopped the transportation, slaughter and sell of livestock products. He faults, the milk vendors for defying the regulations of the disease control.
 
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Joab Wabwire, Soroti district Police Commander, says his office has not received communication from the district veterinary office indicating that the milk vendors have defied the quarantine. He however, said they would render a hand once asked the veterinary office to intervene.

Amos Amaitum, a medical worker in Soroti says the milk got from cows infected by the Foot and Mouth disease could be harmful for human consumption. According to information on the website of European Center for Disease Control and Prevention-ECDC, the foot and mouth disease is essentially an animal disease.  The disease is considered rare in humans.
 
However, ECDC notes that the disease has been reported in humans mainly in connection with consumption of unpasteurized milk, dairy or unprocessed meat products from infected animals or as a result of direct contact with infected animals. No person-to-person transmission in humans has been reported.  The incubation period in humans is two to six days. Symptoms are mostly mild and self-limiting, including tingling blisters on the hands, feet and the mouth, sore throat, and fever. Recovery commonly occurs within a week of the last blisters forming.
 

 

About the author

Salume Among
Salume Among is the Mbale URN bureau chief. Among has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Among started her career in 2000 as a freelance writer for Etop newspaper before starting to write for its mother paper, The New Vision. She also wrote for the Vision Group's XFM radio station from 2008 until she left to join URN.

Among has a keen interest in local politics having been a youth representative in the Soroti variously between 1996 and 2010. Among also regularly reports on health, education, the environment and sports.