In furtherance of its drive to contribute to the development of the community, the Azhili Progressive Club has embarked on a mass vaccination of local chickens and empowerment of widows in Wakama community and its environs.
The vaccination which was flagged off in a ceremony which held today (January 17) at Angwan Sabo Market Square, Akun Development Area, was attended by many illustrious sons and daughters of the community. Among the dignitaries at the event was the Overseer of Akun Development Area, Hon. Hosea Emmanuel Yaro, the Aren Akun, HRH Alhaji Usman Galadima Umbugadu, the District Head of Wakama, Chief Adams Maka Nangba and other district heads in Akun Development Area.
Also at the event was Mr. Alexander Ekom who represented the Director of Veterinary and Livestock Services, Nasarawa State Ministry of Agriculture. The patron of the Azhili Progressive Club, Sir Andrew Affi was also present.
In his opening address, the President of the Azhili Progressive Club, Dr Samuel A. Anzaku thanked all who could make it to the program out of their tight schedule.
He said the Azhili Progressive Club decided to embark on the project because of the importance of poultry to the economy of most families in the community.
He described diseases (especially the Newcastle Disease) as one of the biggest constraints to poultry farming.
In Dr Anzaku’s words, “It may interest you to know that Newcastle Disease (NCD) is one of the most devastating diseases that attack and diminish the local chicken population in our dear communities and indeed other parts of the country.
“As a matter of fact, NCD is listed by the World Organization for Animal Health as vitally important for avian species such that viral detection in a specific geographical location often leads to trade restrictions and embargo. The disease is highly contagious, and without an adequate control strategy, causes high morbidity and mortality (up to 100%) and loss in production in unvaccinated or poorly vaccinated birds.”
He said considering how devastating the Newcastle Disease is, and how effective proper vaccination can be, government at all levels should embark on such projects and even collaborate with community groups to see that local chickens are vaccinated to ensure the survival of this species.
Dr. Anzaku expressed the hope that the efforts of the Azhili Progressive Club will be appreciated by all and sustained to eventually achieve immunity of the chicken against the deadly disease.
Speaking further, Dr Samuel Anzaku said that the Azhili Progressive Club, in response to the charge by the Aren Akun, have expanded their reach beyond the Wakama community.
He said that despite the economic constraints, the club invited 10 widows from each of the communities in Akun to be beneficiaries of the empowerment efforts of the Azhili Progressive Club.
In their goodwill messages at the event, both the Aren Akun, Alhaji Usman Galadima Umbugadu and the Overseer of Akun Development Area, Hon. Hosea Emmanuel Yaro, commended the Azhili Progressive Club for their its in the community. Special praise was reserved for the President of the club in person of Dr Samuel Anzaku for the initiatives.
They called on the beneficiaries to be diligent in caring for the birds so as to establish themselves and justify the resources expended by their benefactors.
The Overseer of Akun Development Area, Hon. Hosea Emmanuel Yaro, urged all the district heads to collect the phone number of the President of the Azhili Progressive Club so they could call and make inquiries whenever the need arises. He also pleaded with Dr Anzaku to make himself accessible whenever such calls come in.
The vaccination of the poultry birds was kickstarted with a demonstration by Dr Umbugadu Cletus Attah, a veterinary doctor with the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI).
The event came to climax with the distribution of Noiler birds to the benefitting women along with a feeder and drinker, some chicken feed and antibiotics to help set them up in business.
This is the third in the series of empowerment programs by the club. Last year, 5-weeks old Noiler birds were distributed to widows in the community. Recently, the club also vaccinated birds in the community.