The Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources has banned the importation of meat, dairy products, vegetables and fruits from South Africa over Listeriosis, a viral disease also known as Kaba. “Meat, milk and dairy products, vegetables and fruits imported from South Africa are effectively banned until Listeriosis is no longer on South Africa’s soil,” reads a statement, signed by Agriculture and Animal Resources Minister, Geraldine Mukeshimana, on Tuesday.
“Farmers and veterinary doctors are advised to quickly report any domestic animal that has signs of the same infection [Listeriosis] to Rwanda Agricultural Board for urgent treatment,” the statement further reads. Listeriosis affects mainly pregnant women, newborns, the elderly, and adults with impaired immune systems. The disease is also a serial killer of domestic animals like cows and little cattle, by attacking their brain. Signs include not eating, silence, miscarriage and premature delivery, for women, serious infection of the newborn or an even stillbirth. Reports in South Africa show that the 557 Listeriosis cases have been detected this year alone and at least 36 people have died in the last 11 months. So far, South Africa’s Gauteng (62 per cent) and Cape Town (16 per cent) have the biggest number of people infected by the disease. The country’s hotels import on average 2.4 tonnes of beef from South Africa monthly, according to information from Agriculture ministry. Rwanda also imports about 60 tonnes of fruits, including oranges, apples, kiwis, pears and grapes, annually.