Millions of African families could be saved from destitution thanks to a much-needed vaccine that is being mass-produced in a drive to protect cattle against a deadly parasite.
East Coast fever is a tick-transmitted disease that kills one cow every 30 seconds – with one million a year dying of the disease.
Calves are particularly susceptible to the disease. In herds kept by the pastoral Maasai people, for example, the disease kills from 20 to over 50 per cent of all unvaccinated calves. This makes it difficult and often impossible for the herders to plan for the future, to improve their livestock enterprises and thus to raise their standard of living.
An experimental vaccine against East Coast fever was first developed more than 30 years ago. This has been followed by work to allow the vaccine to be produced on a large scale, with major funding from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and others.
Read more … (DFID)