… Every year, over one million cattle in east and southern Africa die from East Coast fever – that’s about one cow every thirty seconds. The hardship caused by the disease to livestock keepers and their families is terrible, and financially, the loss to east Africa alone is around 190 million US dollars each year.
But for livestock keepers there is new hope that the disease can be tackled. A vaccine to protect animals from ECF is available, and it has recently been registered in Tanzania and Kenya. This means that private companies are permitted to manufacture and distribute the vaccine, which is 98% effective in protecting cattle.
Producing and registering the vaccine has been a complex process involving several organisations, led by the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicine, also known as GALVmed. At a launch of the vaccine in Arusha, Tanzania, Geoffrey Onditi spoke to some of those involved, beginning with John McDermott of the International Livestock Research Institute.
Read more… (AGFAX Radio)