Panafrican News Agency

ECOWAS to launch mass vaccination campaign against ovine rinderpest

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (PANA) - The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission will on Friday launch the mass vaccination campaign against ovine rinderpest (PPR) in West Africa. 

The launch is being done in Aboisso, Côte d'Ivoire, through the ECOWAS Regional Animal Health Centre (RAHC) and with the financial support of the Swiss Cooperation, an ECOWAS statement said.

It comes in response to the request of the Ministers of Agriculture and Livestock of the beneficiary Member States to the ECOWAS Commission for the control and eradication of PPR.

The statement said the campaign is part of a more global approach to the control and eradication of PPR in West Africa and allows the West African region to reaffirm the international political commitment to control and eradicate PPR worldwide by 2030.

The PPR epidemic in West Africa is an animal health emergency because of its rapid spread.

It kills up to 90% of the animals it infects and causes significant economic losses.

Following the first mass vaccination campaign launched in December 2019 in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the 2022 campaign will provide nearly five million doses of vaccine and will extend to five other countries -- Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal.

The Executive Director of the Regional Animal Health Centre (RAHC), Dr. Vivan Iwar, this progressive campaign aims to eventually cover all 15 ECOWAS Member States in the framework of the control and eradication of ovine rinderpest (PPR) and other priority animal diseases.

The contribution of livestock to the regional agricultural GDP is 44% with an average of more than 60 million head of cattle, 400 million poultry and 160 million small ruminants.