Lessons in Working Towards Global Eradication of Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR)
For millions of smallholder farmers, small ruminants – sheep and goats – provide a vital source of food, income, and security. Threatening this, however, is a devastating and highly contagious livestock disease known as Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR), or sheep and goat plague. PPR causes USD 1.5 to 2 billion in losses each year in regions that are home to over 80 percent of the world’s sheep and goats and to more than 330 million of the world’s poorest people, many of whom depend on them for their livelihoods. As one of the world’s most damaging livestock diseases, PPR spreads rapidly through herds, killing anywhere from 30 to 70 percent of those infected and placing the livelihoods of herders and their households at significant risk.
To combat the devastating effects of PPR, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) launched the Global Strategy for the Control and Eradication of PPR in 2015. To contribute to the global effort to eradicate PPR, USAID partnered with three programs working to develop innovations to improve control of PPR. This webinar will provide background information, updates, and next steps for each of the programs.
- Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation (Nepal) partnered with Hester Biosciences Nepal Private Limited (Hester) to commercialize a thermostable version of the PPR vaccine in 2019. In October 2020, Hester completed the technology transfer process and received final regulatory approval for the production and distribution of this vaccine. The presentation will discuss the supply chain and distribution strategies utilized by Hester to sell 400,000 doses of the TPPR vaccine in Nepal by June 2021. It will also discuss the important role the private sector plays in commercializing agricultural research products.
- The Feed the Future Mali Livestock Technology Scaling Program, led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), has been supporting the Central Veterinary Laboratory of Mali in the production of thermotolerant PPR vaccines since 2016. The presentation will discuss thermostable vaccine development including partnering with a National laboratory. It will also highlight the advantages of utilizing an integrated vaccine delivery approach though Innovation Platforms.
- The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems (Kenya and Uganda) in partnership with Tufts University, is assessing innovative approaches to PPR control and building capacity to scale the vaccine. The project uses a combination of tools and approaches which proved successful in the rinderpest eradication. The presentation will describe an assessment of the patterns of PPR virus circulation in the Karamoja subregion of Uganda conducted to identify the communities that maintain the virus and inform the development of a targeted vaccination strategy. The participatory epidemiology assessment included risk mapping with livestock owners, community animal health workers, and veterinarians and indicated two critical foci of virus transmission on the Uganda-Kenya border.
Dr. Felix Njeumi
Coordinator of the PPR Global Eradication Strategy
Dr. Njeumi, a native Cameroonian, holds a PhD in epidemiology and control of zoonosis from Bologne University (Italy), a DVM from Parme University (Italy) and a Bachelor in Natural Science from Yaounde University (Cameroon). Dr. Njeumi is currently FAO coordinator of the FAO and OIE joint Global Secretariat for the Peste des petits ruminants Global Eradication Programme. He served as the Global Rinderpest Eradication Programme (GREP) Secretary from 2007 to 2011 when the disease was globally eradicated.
He was recognized by the 39th FAO Conference for his upstanding contribution to rinderpest eradication. In 2015, he was awarded Veterinarian of the Year by Parme University for his contribution to veterinary science. In 2018, he was awarded by the government of Côte d’Ivoire as “commandeur de l’ordre national du merite agricole”. Between 2010 and 2019, he received 22 awards from several governments, institutions, NGOs. He has visited more than 140 countries to advise and assist governments and international institutions to control transboundary animal diseases, to improve the livestock sector, trade, pastoralism, public health and agricultural development among others. He is also member of several ad hoc groups, working groups, and steering committees addressing transboundary animal diseases and pastoralism.
Partnering for Innovation
Laura Harwig is the Program Director of Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation where she catalyzes the expansion of private sector companies and entrepreneurs into rural, agricultural markets. Working with input providers, off takers, financial institutions, and technology firms, Laura co-designs solutions to commercialize their agriculture technologies that have so far transformed the lives of more than 1 million smallholder farmers worldwide. She is an expert in leveraging private sector investment and market-based interventions to achieve food security goals. Prior to joining Partnering for Innovation, Laura was Fintrac’s Vice President of Field Activities and oversaw implementation of market systems and value chain development programs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Dr. Michel Dione
Animal Health Scientist
International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
Dr. Dione is a veterinary epidemiologist based in Dakar, Senegal. Dr. Dione has extensive experience in livestock health systems in East and West Africa. His research focuses on assessing animal health constraints by combining both field epidemiology and biological sampling; as well as developing and testing interventions that aim at preventing and controlling animal diseases in livestock in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Dione also carries out research aimed at improving delivery of animal health services such as vaccines and drugs. Currently, Dr Dione coordinates large PPR research programs in West Africa (Mali, Senegal and Burkina Faso).
Dr. Jeffrey C. Mariner
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
Dr. Mariner has over 30 years of experience working on infectious disease surveillance, control and eradication in Africa and Asia. At the start of his career, he developed the thermostable rinderpest vaccine that was adopted by the Global Rinderpest Eradication Program (GREP) as the vaccine of choice in the final eradication of rinderpest. Dr. Mariner currently coordinates the Participatory Epidemiology Network for Animal and Public Health and conducts research and training on One Health topics including appropriate surveillance and control measures for Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR), a virus closely related to rinderpest, and risk-based responses to zoonoses such as Rift Valley fever. Dr. Mariner recently developed a practical thermostable PPR vaccine that is now in commercial production. Dr. Mariner has been very active in strategy formulation, analysis and advocacy for global PPR eradication, an initiative launched by the international agencies concerned with animal health.