Drought / Drylands / DRYLANDSCRP / East Africa / Ethiopia / Food Security / Geodata / ILRI / Insurance / Kenya / Pastoralism / PPR / Vulnerability

Eyes in the sky: ‘Index-based’ livestock insurance for pastoral herders pilot ‘a significant success’

An artist’s rendition of the next Landsat satellite, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) that will launch in Feb 2013 (photo credit: NASA). The Landsat program is the longest continuous global record of Earth observations from space—ever. Since its first satellite went up in the summer of 1972, Landsat has been looking at our planet. The … Continue reading

Article / Cattle / Disease Control / Epidemiology / Goats / ILRI / Pastoralism / PPR / Sheep / Vaccines

New Scientist’s Fred Pearce reports on ‘How African herders rid the planet of a disease’

Tom Olaka, a community animal health worker in Karamajong, northern Uganda, was part of a vaccination campaign in remote areas of the Horn of Africa that drove the cattle plague rinderpest to extinction in 2010 (photo credit: Christine Jost). Fred Pearce writes in New Scientist about How African herders rid the planet of a disease, … Continue reading

Africa / Animal Diseases / Australia / BecA / Biotechnology / Cattle / CBPP / Disease Control / Goats / ILRI / PPR / Sheep / Small Ruminants / Vaccines

Australia steps up support for research in Africa to reduce the continent’s heavy livestock disease burden

ILRI scientist Joerg Jores (right) tells German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who visited the ILRI-BecA labs in July 2011, about his livestock disease research (photo credit: ILRI/Njoroge). ‘Owning large livestock is like money in the bank for African farmers, but major diseases significantly threaten their future. ‘Among these are [peste des petits ruminants], a viral disease … Continue reading

Animal Diseases / Disease Control / Epidemiology / Ethiopia / Event / ILRI

Tufts vets standing proud

Tiny plastic cow figures (image on Flickr by Zoomar). The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University is standing proud this week. Three of their graduates helped eradicate only the second disease ever eradicated from earth. ‘Three Tufts University researchers were praised by the international community for their help in eradicating rinderpest, a disease … Continue reading

Animal Diseases / Cattle / Diagnostics / Disease Control / Epidemiology / Ethiopia / Event / Film and video / ILRI / Vaccines

It’s official! FAO declares rinderpest vanquished

Cow bell from Kenya, on loan from Gary K Clarke, Cowabunga Safaris (photo by Topeka & Shawness County Public Library on Flickr). This week, as the New York Times reports below, the United Nations officially declared that, for only the second time in history, a disease has been wiped off the face of the earth. The … Continue reading

A4NH / Agri-Health / Animal Diseases / Diagnostics / Disease Control / East Africa / Epidemiology / Event / Human Health / ILRI / Kenya / Middle East / RVF / Trade / Zoonotic Diseases

Kenya forges new pact with Horn and Middle East in old war against deadly Rift Valley fever

The pathogenesis of Rift Valley fever. Viruses 2011, 3(5), 493-519; doi:10.3390/v3050493 (image credit: A J Cann’s Flickr photostream). Kenya’s Business Daily newspaper reports that Kenya is forging a new pact in an old war against the deadly mosquito-transmitted ‘zoonotic’—human plus livestock—disease called Rift Valley fever. ‘Kenya has partnered with neighbouring stats to boost surveillance on Rift Valley … Continue reading

Animal Diseases / Cattle / Diagnostics / Disease Control / Epidemiology / ILRI / Markets / Middle East / RVF / Trade / Zoonotic Diseases

Officials from Middle East and Africa meet to tackle Rift Valley fever, disease of livestock and people

The New Agriculturist reports today that ‘As the Middle East increases livestock imports from Africa, officials are meeting in Dubai to develop a strategy to prevent the spread of Rift Valley fever, without banning livestock imports from the Horn of Africa. . . . ‘To guide their responses to the disease, officials from the Middle … Continue reading

Africa / Animal Diseases / Biotechnology / Cattle / Disease Control / East Africa / Epidemiology / ILRI / Kenya / Pastoralism / Somalia / Sudan / Uganda / Vaccines

Beating plague: Rinderpest is the second disease to be eradicated from the earth

ILRI veterinary epidemiologist Jeff Mariner presenting his research at a meeting of the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) (photo credit: OIE). A disease that has devastated the planet for millennia has been eradicated. An international campaign has wiped the cattle plague rinderpest off the face of the earth. ‘For centuries, a disease has ravaged the … Continue reading