As part of efforts to help fight the foot and mouth disease outbreak in the country, the government of the Republic of Botswana has donated 473 000 doses of the foot and mouth (fmd) vaccines worth US$1 million.

The country is battling to contain the outbreak of the foot and mouth disease in Mwenezi and Chiredzi , areas in Masvingo, Chipinge in Manicaland as well as Mberengwa and Gokwe areas in the Midlands Province.

The outbreak is threatening the country’s beef exports and government is battling to contain the outbreak.

Realising that the outbreak could spill to Botswana whose economy heavily depends on beef exports, the Botswana government has donated a huge consignment of vaccines.

The official handover of the vaccines was done in Plumtree where the Botswana delegation that included the Botswana Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Louise Fisher was led by Mr Boipolelo Khumotlhare the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security.

He said while his government previously had a memorandum of understanding with the Zimbabwean government to vaccinate along their borders, where 90 000 animals have been vaccinated so far, they decided to help the country fight the disease.

Addressing the same gathering, general manager of the Botswana Vaccines Institute, Dr Onkabetse Matlho said his institution is the vaccines nerve center in the sub-Sahara Africa and was ready to continue supplying the country with more vaccines.

Accepting the donation Dr Josphat Nyika the director of the Division of Veterinary Services said the country is humbled by the gesture which comes at a time when the country is at its greatest need.

He said the country needs to put in place tight measures to control the movement of animals to contain animal diseases.

The continued outbreak of the foot and mouth disease is a factor on the livestock economy which has the potential to grow the national economy.