By Ismail Auwal
Uganda has announced plans to start making Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) tabs from goat’s milk.
The plan was disclosed by the country’s National Animal Genetic Resources Center and Databank (NAGRC&DB), in a new report about the state of goat farming in the country.
It said that it has finalised plans to introduce highly-efficient and productive dairy goats for adoption by the livestock-rearing communities to avail milk rich in nutrients required for boosting the human immune system.
Dr Peter Beine, the NAGRC&DB acting executive director, confirmed the development but did not provide the specific timeframe for the start of the program.
“On the recommendation of our scientists and researchers, we are bringing the Toggenburg breed, a dairy goat that has been found to withstand conditions here,” he noted.
Goat milk contains calcium, potassium, highly-soluble less-allergenic proteins, digestible fats and energy-producing riboflavin, all of which are essential in boosting the immunity of the people living with HIV/Aids.
The report further noted that NAGRC&DB will start making these special HIV treatment tablets from the goat milk.
In Uganda, dairy goat farming was first promoted in eastern Uganda by FARM Africa, an international NGO dedicated to serve the poorest of the poor.
They introduced the Toggenburg which traces its origin in Switzerland. The Toggenburg is highly productive.
The breed standard calls for minimum milk yield of 740 kg per lactation, with a minimum fat content of 3.56 per cent and minimum protein content of 2.90 per cent.
In some countries, goat milk is directly crystallised into tablets which are given to HIV/Aids patients as immunity boosters and body rejuvenation.
However, it must be realized that dairy goats require careful attention as dairy cows, and temperate breeds need shade during hot weather.