Home News General Sharing of International Expertise will shape Action to Combat Newcastle Disease

A new agenda to combat a poultry disease that threatens the lives of the poorest of the poor will be charted this week in Maputo, Mozambique as some of the world’s foremost experts on Newcastle Disease gather to share the latest techniques to prevent it.

A viral disease of birds, mainly chickens, Newcastle Disease devastates the backyard poultry that provide a lifeline to very many fiscally-poor people across the developing world. Nearly 700 million of the world’s poorest people rely on livestock for their survival and the loss of small flocks of chickens can threaten basics such as food, education, healthcare and the dignity of self determination for people living on tiny margins.

This landmark conference, organised collaboratively by PANVAC; IIAM Mozambique, the African Union Commission and GALVmed will also produce an accurate and up-to-date picture of the extent to which Newcastle Disease (ND) impacts upon the lives of people across the world. It also aims to understand better the interface between potential solutions and the needs of poor people. With a clear focus on delivering change, its recommendations are expected to map out how the tide on ND can be turned through collaboration and by making the use of the most appropriate innovative technologies accessible and affordable to the people who need them most.

The Chief Executive Officer of GALVmed, Steve Sloan commented:

For many of the poorest people the world over, poultry and poultry products are the source of protein and income that make the difference between survival and sustainability. We know that for Newcastle Disease there are viable vaccines that work right now to protect precious flocks. The challenge is about making technology meet needs. I would like to express my thanks to our organising partners: the African Union Commission, PANVAC and IIAM for their hard work in making this important workshop a reality. Its proceedings, recommendations and conclusions will impact upon Africa and inform the work on Newcastle Disease from an international perspective.

This week’s conference on Newcastle Disease and vaccines seeks to share the best research from around the world and to develop strategies that will bring its lifeline products to backyard poultry farmers. Visiting international speakers and chairs come from: Australia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia; France; Ghana; India; Kenya; Nigeria; South Africa; Tanzania; UK; and the USA.
The broadly-based and wide-ranging sessions will include:

  • Backyard poultry systems in Africa and Southern Asia
  • Newcastle Disease Situation in Africa
  • Better understanding of disease situation and support needed to improve the contribution of the backyard poultry sector to livelihoods of poor people
  • Socio-cultural Issues
  • Village projects in Tanzania, Burkina Faso, India
  • Available ND vaccines in Africa & India
  • ND Control Strategies, monitoring and evaluation
  • Control solutions and approaches currently being used
  • Key characteristics of an appropriate delivery model for ND vaccine to improve contribution of poultry sector to the livelihoods of poor people
  • Quality control
  • Practical aspects of Vaccine Production – vaccine types, field conditions, human resources, governance
  • Management issues associated with local production including storage and distribution and performance monitoring.

The top-level programme of presentations and workshops with a strong Africa-focus is taking place at the Hotel VIP Grand Maputo 5th & 6th October. This will be followed by three days of practical laboratory sessions at the IIAM – Animal Sciences Directorate (DCA) (7-9 October).

For Media Enquiries, please contact:
Stuart Brown
Communications Manager: GALVmed (Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines)
Email: stuart.brown@galvmed.org
Tel: +44 (0) 131 445 6186
Web: www.galvmed.org

Case study
A high resolution photograph of Elizabeth Wayua Mutoso is available from GALVmed upon request. The following case-study is also available online at:


Elizabeth Wayua Mutoso, Machakos, Kenya

“I had about 20 chickens but they all died. Now I have to make sisal ropes to sell for a small income.”

Elizabeth Wayua Mutoso’s chickens were all killed by Newcastle Disease, a contagious disease that usually kills most chickens in a household or village. She hadn’t vaccinated her chickens against Newcastle Disease and did not recognise the symptoms when the disease hit her flock. She now knows that she must have bought an infected chicken at the market as the disease spread to the other chickens after that.

With nearly all her chickens dead, she has no source of cash and cannot afford to buy food or clothes or pay for school fees. As is the custom, she used to sell a chicken every time she needed something. She used to get around KSH 150 (or USD 2) for each chicken which was enough to pay for extra food or household items.

Poultry are often owned and managed by women for whom they represent an important source of cash income in times of need through the sale of adult birds, chicks or eggs.

Livestock beneficial to poor

For many poor people in Kenya, livestock is a major source of income particularly during times of drought. With climate change beginning to bite in East Africa, increasingly unpredictable rain patterns means that people cannot depend on crops such as maize and beans for food and income as they used to. Livestock such as goats, cows and chickens are more drought resistant and a crucial income to pay for food, medicines or school fees.

Yet development aid has neglected livestock for decades. Only 4 per cent is directed towards agriculture and a fraction of this to livestock.

Livestock has most impact on women

GALVmed has prioritized poultry as an important investment area for work because all of the evidence available suggests that these impact most upon poor people and specifically upon the most vulnerable groups, including women and children.

If women are the bulk of livestock keepers and GALVmed improve the health and sustainability of their livestock, then protein levels and the capacity to generate investment income improve for women. At a micro-level, (in money terms at least), this gives women an economic voice within their families and thus a right to investment decision-making.

About GALVmed:

GALVmed is a not-for-profit global alliance and a Public Private Partnership. GALVmed began operations in November 2005. Since then, it has played an integral role in increasing the resources dedicated to the development of diagnostics, vaccines and medicines to tackle livestock diseases. GALVmed is committed to:

  • Raising awareness about the links between livestock health, economic development and human health.
  • Ensuring that resources from its private, governmental and public partners are used to efficiently distribute quality livestock diagnostics, vaccines and medicines to rural livestock keepers.
  • Advancing innovation in this field and plans to develop, register and launch four to six vaccines, pharmaceutical or diagnostic products by 2015 (minimum targets).
  • Communicate + network at all levels to gain buy in to paradigm change.


GALVmed is a registered charity and not-for-profit global alliance of public, private and government partners.

Registered Charity in Scotland: SC039197 Registered Charity in England and Wales: 1115606

Registered Name: Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines.

Registered in England and Wales No. 5393391, limited by guarantee Registered Office: Maclay Murray & Spens, One London Wall, London EC2Y 5AB, UK