AU in fresh push to eradicate PPR disease in livestock

InterAfrica Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) has launched a fresh push to eradicate PPR (Peste des Petits Ruminants) livestock disease on the continent.

The AU-IBAR Acting Director Dr. Nick Nwankpa said the viral disease that is contagious as well as transboundary is hurting the livelihoods of millions of livestock farmers on the continent and it is a major threat to food security.

“The disease is highly contagious and can infect up to 90 per cent of the animal herd and kills up to 70 per cent of the animals infected,” said Dr. Nwankpa.

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation(FAO) estimates that PPR diseases cause economic losses of up to US$2.1 Billion in areas where it is endemic putting at risk over 300 million families that rely on livestock as their main livelihood.

The regions affected by PPR include; Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe where about 1.7 billion population of livestock, about 80 per cent of the global livestock population.

Speaking at a meeting to validate the Pan-African PPR Control and Eradication Program 2022-2026, held at the AU-IBAR offices in Nairobi, Dr. Nwankpa said, PPR is now endemic in nearly the whole of Africa hence the need to increase efforts to eradicate the deadly animal disease.

The Acting Director at AU-IBAR based in Nairobi added that the control and eradication of PPR requires a phased, risk-based approach with well-coordinated and harmonised activities across all regions on the continent.

“The disease is characterized by severe morbidity and mortality rates and has a high economic impact in areas of Africa where small ruminants contribute to guaranteeing livelihoods,” said Dr. Nwankpa and added that the meeting is aimed at consolidating the 2nd Pan-African PPR control and eradication program and the renewed effort towards enhanced resource mobilisation for the control and eradication of PPR by the global target of 2030.

While noting that Africa has been successful in eradicating Rinderpest in 2011, Dr. Nwankpa said that the African Union Commission(AUC) specialized technical institutions, AU-IBAR and AU-PANVAC are now working towards the eradication of PPR.

He appealed for more funding to the program noting that the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020 undermined efforts by member states to budget for and set aside funds to help in efforts aimed at eradicating PPR disease in livestock.

“We need to make concerted and coordinated efforts to be able to secure and sustain funding for implementation of PPR control and eradication activities at the national, regional, pan-African and Global levels,” said Dr. Nwankpa.








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