The two strategies were developed by the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries (MLF) with technical support by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
The launch, which was held at the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) following a panel discussion tilted ‘Animal Sourced Food: Implication for Public Health and Nutrition’, was part of the week-long celebrations to mark the World Food Day which come to the climax on October 16.
FAO representative to Tanzania, Fred Kafeero, director of preventive services in the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Leonard Subi and MLF’s director of veterinary services Dr Hezron Nonga were among those who attended the launch event.
“This rhymes well with this year’s World Food Day them that our actions are our future and that healthy diets are an essential tool for ensuring a zero hunger world,” he said, adding:
“Our mission is to ensure that animals contribute to food and nutrition security.”
Deputy Minister Ulega revealed that MLF has recently embarked on country wide livestock diseases control programmes so as to increase the quantity and quality of animal source food. “The Government is providing dipping services for livestock to control pests and diseases. We’re also finalizing regulations for compulsory vaccinations of animals to ensure that the animals and their products are free from diseases and therefore assure people with healthy diets,” he pointed out.
Deputy Minister Ulega, noted that despite these improvements, the current per capita consumption is below the FAO recommendations and explained that the government in collaboration with other partners will continue providing public campaigns and supports towards improving dietary consumption of animal source food.
In his remarks, Kafeero hinted that diseases like brucellosis and anthrax were some of the diseases that have a devastating impact on animal productivity and production, on trade in live animals, meat and other animal products, on human health and, consequently, on the overall process of economic development.
“Studies indicate brucellosis and anthrax can causes significant production loss and potential public health problems. That’s why FAO supported the Tanzania Government in developing the strategies for addressing them,” he said.
According to him, for many years now FAO has been assisting Tanzania to build capacity and develop and test important tools for ensuring good public, animal and environmental health. “Such tools are useful for budget and planning, research, documentation and key development agenda. These tools are tested and proven and national staff have been trained on their use,” he said.