Stakeholders in the poultry industry met to discuss whether the use of vaccination should be adopted against the Avian Influenza disease in the country.
The stakeholders’ summit was organised by Boehringer Ingelheim, a global avian influenza vaccine supplier in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development brought veterinary researchers, experts from the universities, farmers, and other international bodies like FAO to discuss the controversy around vaccination.
Dr Moses Arokoyo, Business manager, English speaking West African countries for Boehringer Ingelheim, said the silent fear was that people believe when you vaccinate, the disease more or less becomes endemic, arguing however that from the global perspective that was not the case.
Dr Orokoyo stressed that vaccination does not mean that the disease becomes endemic, adding that the idea of the summit was to present a kind of methodology regarding vaccination in order to achieve eradication of the disease.
“The status in Nigeria today is no vaccination. The fear is that when you vaccinate the disease is here to stay. But that is not correct. You have to use quality vaccines and following the right methodology, you can actually achieve a perfect result towards eradication of the disease,” he said.
Dr Hanif Chaudhry, a consultant with Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, while presenting as guest speaker at the summit, urged that a holistic approach is adopted inclusive of vaccination.
A monitoring system is good and there should be collaboration on the platform of a NAP (National Action Plan), he said.
Some stakeholders however expressed concern that adopting vaccination policy could make the disease more complicated to deal with.
In an interview with Daily Trust, the Director of Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Dr Onallo S. Akpa, said whatever strategy is adopted must be to totally eradicate the disease and not to make it endemic.