Botswana Vaccine Institute (BVI) has been hailed for evolving from a national and regional facility to an international center of excellence in control of trans-boundary animal diseases.

The Institute was established four decades ago as a partnership between the government of Botswana and IFFA-Merieux which is mostly known as Boehringer Ingelheim (BI).

It was established following the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in 1977/78 in the Ngamiland and Central Makgadikgadi.

Speaking during the anniversary celebrations on Thursday morning, Vice President Slumber Tsogwane recalled that the main purpose of the partnership was to conduct joint research relating to the circulating FMD viruses with the view to manufacture necessary vaccines to control the outbreak.

In the years that it has been in existence, BVI is said to have grown into a reputable organization, producing several commercial vaccines for FMD and Anthrax among others.

It is also a distributor of Rabies vaccines in Africa manufactured by its partners MERIAL.

Furthermore, BVI has been during the course of its operation appointed the World Animal Health Organization Regional Reference Laboratory for FMD in Sub-Saharan Africa since 1995, and has maintained this status ever since.

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