Published On: Mon, Feb 23rd, 2015

Brucellosis Spreading as Palestinians Fail to Vaccinate Sheep


Brucellosis, an infectious disease that spreads from animals to humans, is on the rise in the West Bank because of the failure of Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority to provide vaccines against the disease, the Ma’an news agency reported.

The PA was designed as the precursor of an independent, self-reliant Palestinian state.

More than 400 Palestinians were infected by the disease in 2014, compared with 243 in 2013, 184 in 2012 and 179 in 2011, PA Ministry of Health figures show.

Documents from the Ministry of Agriculture obtained by Ma’an show that the gradual increase in infections since 2011 is directly linked to a shortage in vaccines provided by the PA to farmers.

In the Shchem area, in June 2011, the PA only provided Brucellosis vaccines for 20, 400 out of 90, 000 sheep, the documents show.

In 2012, no vaccines were provided at all, while in 2013 the PA only provided the Shchem area with injections to vaccinate 25, 600 sheep, and only  19, 200 in 2014.

Documents obtained from the PA health ministry offices show similar levels of shortages in both Tulkarem and Qalqiliya.

Director of veterinary services in Qalqiliya, Samir Fuqaha, told Ma’an that vaccines received from the PA since 2011 have barely covered 50 percent of sheep in the district, with no vaccines provided at all in 2012.

A bidding committee for the Ministry of Agriculture announced a bid last year to supply a million vaccines. Approval was received this month, but the vaccines are yet to arrive.

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