October 6, 2009

The fight against Cattle Deaths in Africa

A private charity has renewed the fight against cattle deaths with the introduction of a new distribution channel for vaccine in the Kenyan market.

Commercialization of the vaccine is targeted at combating East Coast Fever, a livestock disease that kills millions of animals every year.

“We are exploring ways of transferring the production and distribution of the vaccine to the private sector through local manufacturers and distributors. This is extremely important in making the vaccine affordable, accessible and sustainable,” said Steve Sloan, the CEO of GALVmed, a Britain-based group.

The group plans to work with governments, veterinary products distributors and those from the private sector to avail the vaccine to farmers in East African countries and to scale up its production.

“This pioneering registration effort aims to ensure that the vaccine is approved and monitored by affected nations and enables local firms to sell and distribute it, embedding its sustainability. Registration in Malawi is already complete, with significant progress in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda,” said the CEO’s firm that makes livestock vaccines, diagnostics and affordable medicines for the poor.

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the UK Department for International Development are other partners in the project.

Veterinary scientist Henry Kiara, who has conducted research on the vaccine for 20 years, said ILRI was commercializing the production, distribution and delivery of the vaccine and would make it available to livestock keepers.

East Coast Fever is a cancer-like cattle disease that often kills animals within three weeks of infection. It is transmitted by the brown ear tick.

The vaccines have previously been distributed mainly through government-led initiatives, which are limited in funding.

The commercialization will also give small-scale livestock farmers the power to control the health of their animals.

The disease kills one cow in every 30 seconds in Africa.

Source: Business Daily Africa Read rest of the article here.


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