Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR)-1
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CTA. 2004. Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR)-1. Rural Radio Resource Pack 04/03. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57274
Dr Tih Joseph Shefe, an animal health researcher at the Institute of Agricultural Research for Development, based in Cameroon.
Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR)-1 Cue: Peste des petits ruminants, commonly known as PPR, or sometimes Goat Plague, is one of the most serious diseases affecting goats and sheep in Africa. It is particularly common in West Africa, but extends across the Sahel to Sudan and Ethiopia, causing huge economic losses when outbreaks occur. Animals that are infected with the disease can die within a few days, and because the disease is caused by a virus, treatment options are limited. However, sheep and goat keepers are not powerless in the face of PPR. There are ways of controlling outbreaks, and of protecting animals so that they become immune to the virus. In our next report, Dr Tih Joseph Shefe, a veterinary doctor based in Cameroon explains to Martha Chindong about the symptoms of the disease, and what farmers can do to protect their livestock. IN: If you have an animal ? OUT: ?protected against the disease.? DUR?N 4?36? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Dr Tih Joseph Shefe with some good advice for livestock keepers to always keep a close watch on the health of their animals so they can respond quickly when disease occurs. Transcript Shefe If you have an animal that is sick of Peste des Petits Ruminants, the first thing you are going to notice is that your animal has gone off its feed; it is not eating as before. You will find a lot of drizzling of saliva. Mucus will be flowing out of the nose and the eyes, so the animal is actually suffering from respiratory distress. Again, you will find that there is diarrhoea, and in fact if you look at the mouth closely, open the mouth and you will see that there are erosions around the teeth. This makes the animal not able to eat; it goes off its feed, and it has difficulty breathing, and of course with the profuse diarrhoea it dies. Chindong Now, can a farmer do something when he or she identifies these signs? Shefe Yes, something can be done. But now, it is unfortunate that there is no straightforward treatment to this disease. Like I say it is a viral disease and you have no drugs now available for treating it. So the best would be to isolate your sick animal and treat it symptomatically. That is give it just general antibiotics, treat it against diarrhoea, but most of the time the animal will die. All in all you can vaccinate the animals before they fall sick, so there is a control measure. Chindong So the farmers can only take precautions. Now, talking about vaccination; you know farmers have one or two goats here and there. Now how can this small quantity be vaccinated, considering the cost of a vaccine? Shefe Ok, that is a good question. Now what normally should be done, which we have done before is, you get a number of farmers in a given village together, fix a rendezvous, and then go and vaccinate as many animals as they can find on the spot in the village. Because with the rendezvous they are going to respect your coming in. Chindong What of the farmers? health? Shefe The disease as such does not affect the farmers, human beings in general, because it is not a zoonotic disease. Chindong But can the farmers help to transmit the disease from one animal to another? Shefe Exactly, it can happen. Especially if he has an animal, he has a goat or a sheep that is sick of this very disease, but he doesn?t know, and then he goes to handle the animal because it is in pain. Now he leaves it there, and he has to go and tether another one in the bush, or just by the roadside for it to graze. At the time he is touching the next animal, he is actually helping to transmit the disease from the sick animal to the one that is not sick yet. So farmers themselves can be actually the transmitting agents between animals, without knowing of course. Chindong Now what advice can you give farmers? Shefe I really would appreciate it very much if farmers become aware that they have no treatment for this disease but they can vaccinate. This vaccine is not expensive, and they only need to come together in a group and arrange with the extension agent or with the technical officer; he will certainly come around and vaccinate their animals and for very little [money]. So they have no reason to despair, because the disease can be combated through vaccination. Chindong Ok. Is there anything that you would love us to share with farmers concerning this peste des petits ruminants? Shefe I would very much appreciate it that farmers should take their time and look at their animals very well. Try to observe their animals daily. Know them individually if possible, and be able to identify at the first sign, each time an animal is not in good shape. Then they will easily identify when the disease is around, so they isolate the sick animals. They will therefore be kind enough to call on the vaccination officers at least once a year, so that their animals get protected against the disease. End of track.