SPANA's emergency response in Malawi

12 March 2015
Last month we received frantic calls for help from Malawi - where the country has been inundated by endless rain and serious floods.

Malawi is a small, mountainous country bordered all along one side by Lake Nyasa, and very very poor.

Frankly, there's not much we can do about the floods - animals will doubtless have been drowned - but other problems arise even when the flood waters have retreated.

The big problem they are facing is anthrax. This is a potentially fatal disease - for humans as well as animals - and is picked up by ingesting spores of the bacteria. These spores are immensely resilient - they can survive for fifty years or more in the soil - and have been washed to the surface as the soil has been disturbed by the torrents and flood water. To make things worse, hungry Africans when they see one of their animals sickening, will generally kill it and eat it, so as not to waste it. Disaster! Thousands of people could be at risk as well as their livestock.

However, the good news is there is a really cheap and effective vaccine. SPANA is now helping to vaccinate 100,000 head of livestock - donkeys, cattle, sheep and goats - that will make a huge impact -and may save many many lives.


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