A world without rinderpest
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CTA. 1996. A world without rinderpest. Spore 65. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47451
Rinderpest, the most devastating of cattle diseases, has been restricted to just a few pockets of infection in Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan and could soon be totally eradicated from Africa, thus saving African nations and donors millions of dollars a...
Rinderpest, the most devastating of cattle diseases, has been restricted to just a few pockets of infection in Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan and could soon be totally eradicated from Africa, thus saving African nations and donors millions of dollars a year and expanding opportunities for trade. Introduced into Africa just over a century ago, the disease swept rapidly from Somalia to South Africa killing up to 80% of cattle and wildlife species such as buffalo, kudu and eland. The economic consequences ruined many farmers and caused extreme hardship to many more. In the 1980s another disease outbreak extended from east to west Africa with livestock losses amounting to some US$2 billion. In the past decade rinderpest has been eliminated from west Africa by a highly successful vaccination programme under the Pan African Rinderpest Campaign (PARC), which has been funded largely by the EU and given technical support by FAO. There have been no reports of the disease from west Africa for eight years and southern African countries have been clear of rinderpest for more than 50 years. In Ethiopia and Sudan the last pockets of infection are restricted to areas that have been (Ethiopia) or still are (Sudan) affected by civil strife. A recent outbreak affecting only wildlife occurred in Kenya. Kenyan and Ethiopian authorities, assisted by PARC and FAO, are hopeful that the disease can be mastered in the very near future. In Sudan an unconventional but highly successful approach to disease control has been developed by UNICEF and NGOs (Veterinaires sans frontieres, Vetaid and Oxfam) to train local Community Animal Health Workers (CAHWs) to carry out vaccination in the absence of government veterinary staff. Rinderpest also survives in India, Pakistan and parts of west Asia but the FAO has set a target for driving rinderpest to extinction by 2010. At a meeting titled 'A world without rinderpest' organized by FAO in July a strategy for achieving this target was discussed and several experts were optimistic that rinderperst eradication in Africa was possible by 2000 and worldwide by 2005. Dr Mark Rweyamamu Global Rinderpest Eradication Programme (GREP) FAO, Viale delle Terme di Carracalla 00100 Rome, ITALY