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GALVmed jointly organised a workshop in Arusha, Tanzania, with Sokoine University of Agriculture recently to raise awareness of Contagious Caprine Pleuro-Pneumonia (CCPP) among animal health service delivery stakeholders.

The workshop was based on a baseline study that GALVmed had commissioned in 2013/14 and conducted by the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), to obtain information on CCPP in the Manyara region of Tanzania.

The objective of the study was to stimulate decision making and a policy change in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries to include the use of a quality and reliable CCPP vaccine for the effective control of CCPP, helping to increase goat productivity and improve farmers’ livelihoods.

CCPP is a serious respiratory disease that threatens a significant number of goat populations around the world – Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa, including Tanzania.

Clinical disease has been reported in 38 countries with the highest incidence found in African and Asian nations. Additionally, CCPP’s high rates of morbidity (90–100 per cent) and mortality (60–80 per cent) have had wide-ranging negative effects on livestock productivity and trade restrictions in many countries in Africa.

The workshop was held in order to communicate findings and to sensitise policy makers and other stakeholders from the public and private sector to the extent and effects of CCPP, and on the need to promote a practical and efficient system for facilitating availability, accessibility and affordability of quality CCPP vaccine to farmers to effectively control CCPP.

It was attended by 40 participants including Tanzania’s Director of Veterinary Services, Dr Abdu Hayghaimo, other central government and local government officials and representatives of private companies, farmers and academia.

The workshop examined the evidence on the status, extent and impact of CCPP in Tanzania and identified gaps that need to be filled. Participants came up with practical recommendations on controlling CCPP in Tanzania.

It was noted that CCPP prevalence in the six districts covered by the study would be reflective of the situation in many other districts across Tanzania. Most of those affected were smallholder farmers whose animals are decimated and their livelihoods devastated by CCPP, yet they contribute greatly to the economy of the country.

It was further noted that government policy was not against vaccination but that it had not been implemented due to a number of factors including lack of awareness and limited human resources – more than half of the 169 districts have no District Veterinary Officers (DVOs) who are essential to the implementation of government policy and disease control measures. It was therefore recommended that the relevant government authorities be engaged further and the public be sensitised towards implementing the policies in favour of vaccination, including in the short term authorising the importation of the vaccine from KEVEVAPI in Kenya, NVI in Ethiopia and MCI in Morocco which are the only entities in Africa producing the CCPP vaccine.

The partnership between GALVmed and SUA was commended as well as GALVmed’s technical and financial support. It is expected that the momentum will be maintained given that Tanzania is one of the BMGF tier one countries and CCPP is one of the priority diseases in VITAL.

By Julius Singoma