Africa / Animal Diseases / Animal Health / East Africa / ECF / Livestock / Tanzania / Vaccines

Keeping the Maasai farmers alive when the pop stars have all gone

The Edinburgh-based charity GALVmed has brought hope to Maasai communities in Tanzania hit by East Coast fever, a livestock disease that kills 19 out of 20 calves

Masai farmers

It is a little after dawn in the Masai district of Engarenaibor in northwestern Tanzania. Amid a pre-historic landscape of rolling grassland and acacia trees, Paolo Lemorongo, a farmer, is rounding up cows, so that his visitors can see for themselves the tiny yellow tags that have been attached to each animal’s ear. The tag signifies an animal inoculated against the deadly Ndigana kali, better known as East Coast fever.

“Before the vaccination became available, most of my animals died,” says Mr Lemorongo. “If the cows delivered 80 calves, only five would survive. Of course, when vets first brought the treatment here some people were suspicious, but when they saw that so many animals survived, suddenly everyone wanted it.”

Read more (Times Online)

GALVmed website

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