GALVmed is currently busy moving ahead on a number of fronts to improve the quality and quantity of vaccines produced by nine Africa laboratories against four key neglected diseases, each of which have major economic and social impacts. These are Newcastle disease, contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP), contagious caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP) and peste des petits ruminants (PPR).
The initiative, running from January 2010 to August 2011,[note later extended to December 2011] is part of the broader €20 million EU funded VACNADA (Vaccines for the Control of Neglected Animal Disease of Africa) project, which was launched in March 2010 by the European Union (EU) and African Union-Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR).
The EU’s VACNADA project aims to reduce the loss of animals through diseases and lessen the negative effects of the soaring food prices on vulnerable households in Africa.
The project targets more than one million livestock keepers living in rural communities in 24 African Union member states.
It is funded through the Food Facility established by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union to assist developing countries and their populations cope with soaring food prices.
Of the €20, nearly €10 million has been allocated to buy vaccines for the four diseases from African vaccine producers and to vaccinate animals in 24 African countries.
VACNADA is operated by four partners, namely AU-IBAR., GALVmed, the Pan African Veterinary Vaccine Centre of the Africa Union (AU-PANVAC) and CIRAD the French agricultural research for development organisation).
Under this partnership, GALVmed is responsible for providing a range of capacity building activities to eight vaccine producing laboratories in sub-Saharan Africa through a €6.9 million grant.
The targeted vaccine producing laboratories are:
To undertake this work, GALVmed has recruited a large team of highly experienced consultants led by GALVmed’s Nairobi-based VACNADA project coordinator, Fred Musisi.
One team is assessing demand for these four vaccines, both now and in the future, in national and regional markets. Detailed reports have already been produced for Ethiopia, Kenya and Southern Africa, and others are in the process of being compiled by teams of national consultants.
In turn, these reports are informing the development of a sophisticated model by the Edinburgh, Scotland-based global animal health and veterinary medicine research consulting firm, Vetnosis.
GALVmed’s director of operations, Meritxell Donadeu explains: “The labs will use the model as part of their sales and marketing and distribution strategies. And GALVmed will be using this information to identify areas of support, for interaction with donors and to incentivise commercial partners, amongst other uses.”
Meanwhile other team members are providing a wide range of support to the eight laboratories. This includes:
Outside the scope of the VACNADA project, GALVmed is exploring other improved CCPP production processes for some laboratories to enable more vaccine to be produced. In addition for PPR, freeze- drying techniques are being investigated to enable development of a thermostable vaccine, initially at BVI, Gaborone, and later other laboratories.
Process development laboratory: A process development laboratory is being established at NVI, Debre Zeit to enable the laboratory to try out process improvements at a pilot scale.
VACNADA tender updates
These tenders are currently being let – information will be posted to the GALVmed website when this process is complete.