East Coast Fever (ECF) is a serious, often fatal, disease of cattle that causes major economic losses across 11 countries in eastern, central and southern Africa. Caused by single-celled parasite, the disease is transmitted by the brown ear tick, which is found in hay or standing grass. ECF is a significant constraint to livestock farmers in affected countries with one animal being lost every 30 seconds and more than 25 million cattle at risk.
ECF can be prevented by using the Muguga Cocktail vaccine, which is manufactured by the Centre for Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases in Malawi and distributed by local companies, Ronheim and PharmaVax in Tanzania.
GALVmed – a not-for-profit company that makes livestock vaccines accessible to smallholder farmers – and its partners has launched an initiative to standardise training provided to ECF vaccinators. A standardised training curriculum and manual originally developed by Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, and later with input from the International Livestock Research Institute, GALVmed and Tanzanian stakeholders including the Directorate of Veterinary Services, the Veterinary Council of Tanzania, and Tanzanian distributors is now being used for the training of ECF vaccinators.