The Nigerian government is to construct a facility to produce sterile male Tsetse flies aimed at eradicating their population in the country.
Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu said this at the ongoing 35th International Scientific Council for the Trypanosomiasis research and Control in Abuja, Nigeria.
Dr. Onu said that the Tsetse Fly had posed serious threat to livestock production as well as human health in Africa, stressing that Nigeria has taken the leadership role to eradicate the scourge in the continent.
“Its effective control has become absolutely necessary for us in Africa to attain self-sufficiency in livestock production as well as maintain human health.
“Nigeria will indeed lead Africa in the fight against tsetse fly, we will work closely with African countries to reclaim our lands from these flies…Effectively controlling tsetse fly is a task that must be done, in view of the fact that Africa is made up of young people with an increasing population. Achieving this will help us feed ourselves, remain healthy, grow our economy and create jobs for our people,” the minister explained.
Dr. Onu expressed confidence on the outcome of the deliberations at the conference, to guide the adoption of scientifically based decisions and strategies, to control tsetse fly and trypanosomiasis.
Call for synergy
He also called for synergy and coordinated effort by African nations to confront the menace, saying tsetse fly and trypanosomiasis respect no borders.
He saluted African Governments for the establishment of the Pan African tsetse fly and Trypanosomiasis Control (PATTEC) initiative.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Mr. Bitrus Nabasu said the conference would aid with development of better strategies for improved resources, commitment and sustained political drive towards the control and eventual elimination of tsetse fly and Trypanosomiasis.
Representative of the AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Professor, Ahmed El-Sawalthy said it was time to re-evaluate the achievements made to find lasting solutions to the eradicating of tsetse fly.
El-Sawalthy commended the efforts by the World Health Organisation, to provide trypanosomiasis medication free of charge.
“Successful application of Sterile Insect Technique on Zanzibar Island to eradicate the disease demonstrated the possibility of eradication,” he added.
The theme of the conference is “impact of Africa Trypanosomiasis on Human and Animal Health, sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development in the face of challenges to sustainable Investment in AAT control and HAT elimination.”