ECOWAS set to launch Mass Vaccination Campaign Against PPR

All is set for the Commission of the Community of West African States (ECOWAS), through its Regional Animal Health Centre (RAHC) and with the financial support of the Swiss Cooperation, to officially launch the 2022 Mass Vaccination Campaign against Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) in the subregion.

According to a press release by the Directorate of Communication,ECOWAS Commission, the event will take place Friday, June 10th 2022, in Aboisso in the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire.

It said the campaign falls within the response to the request submitted to the ECOWAS Commission by the Ministers for Agriculture and Livestock of the beneficiary Member States for the control and eradication of Peste des
Petits Ruminants (PPR). It is part of a global approach to controlling and eradicating PPR in West Africa and will enable the West African Region to reaffirm the international political commitment to globally control and
eradicate PPR by 2030.

The PPR epidemic in West Africa is, indeed said to be an animal health emergency due to its rapid spread. It kills up to 90% of the animals it infects and causes significant economic losses. For households, sheep and goats constitute a safety net and a means of incomes to face difficult periods. Besides, the control and eradication
of PPR through regional approaches to controlling transboundary animal diseases directly impact food and nutrition security, especially on women and other vulnerable groups. This has led ECOWAS to develop a
regional strategy for the control and eradication of the disease.

Following the first Mass Vaccination Campaign launched in December 2019 in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the 2022 campaign will provide nearly 5 million doses of vaccine, and will extend to five other countries, namely Côte d’Ivoire, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau and Senegal.
For the Executive Director of the Regional Animal Health Centre (RAHC), Dr Vivian Iwar, this progressive campaign aims to eventually cover all 15 ECOWAS Member States in the context of the control and eradication of Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) and other priority animal diseases.

It could be recalled that, small ruminants’ production is an important component of the complex agricultural system on which the economy of ECOWAS is very dependent. The Livestock’s contribution to regional agricultural GDP is 44% with an average of more than 60 million heads of cattle, 400 million poultry and 160 million small ruminants. In relation to the whole of sub-Saharan Africa, this accounts for about 33% of the sheep and 40% of the goats.

The Regional Animal Health Centre (RAHC) is a specialized ECOWAS Agency based in Bamako, Mali. Its mandate is to: (i) coordinate and harmonize policies and interventions for the control of transboundary animal diseases and zoonoses, (ii) support the formulation of national strategies for the control of transboundary
animal diseases and zoonoses, (iii) improve the regional animal health information and reporting system, (iv) strengthen regional epidemiological surveillance systems, (vi) improve communication, exchange and dissemination of information, and sensitization of professional and producer networks, and (vii) create and/or strengthen regional, continental and international partnerships for the benefit of animal issues in the ECOWAS region.