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OIE launches pilot project to design efficient control methods for Peste des Petits Ruminants, a devastating disease of goats and sheep

OIE pilot project “Vaccine Standards and Pilot Approach to peste des petits ruminants (PPR) Control in Africa” receives funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Paris, 23 October 2012 - The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation join forces to tackle Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR), a viral disease of goats and sheep also known as goat plague. This disease is prevalent in Africa and is spreading to other continents. PPR can have tragic economic and social consequences for poor rural and peri-urban populations linked with the loss of their animals.

The new project “Vaccine Standards and Pilot Approach to PPR Control in Africa” will establish a Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) Vaccine Bank and develop a pilot strategy to control and progressively eradicate the disease in several African countries.

OIE Director General, Dr Bernard Vallat, said: “Given that animal diseases do not respect geographic or administrative boundaries and jeopardize the animal health status of neighbouring countries and regions, this first ‘goat grant’ is a fundamental step towards the control and progressive eradication of PPR in the targeted region with possible future expansion to Africa or even globally based on lessons learned from this pilot project.”

Investing in and protecting small ruminants (goats and sheep) is a cornerstone of the foundation’s Agricultural Development - Livestock Overview and Approach because: “they provide a high percentage of future economic growth potential. Small ruminants require low investment and are easy to raise and manage. Through targeting investments in small ruminants, we increase our reach to the poorest farmers, particularly women”.  

Workings of the PPR Vaccine Bank

The PPR Vaccine Bank will have a virtual rolling stock; this means that vaccines are not stocked physically but are produced as needed and are renewed on a rolling basis under the terms and conditions contractually defined by the OIE with the selected providers.

The OIE will launch an International Call for Tender in the coming weeks to establish an operational PPR Vaccine Bank in Africa. The winning supplier(s) must demonstrate, among others, compliance with international standards on the production and quality of vaccines.

In keeping with the overarching objective of the grant, this will not only ensure the timely supply of high quality vaccines complying with international standards, but also facilitate harmonization of control methods.

Pilot strategy in 2 to 3 African countries

The effective control of animal diseases is a critical element of any strategy that aims to support and enhance livestock-dependent livelihoods of the rural poor.

The OIE will develop a scientifically sound and effective pilot strategy for the progressive control and longer-term eradication of PPR in 2 to 3 African countries. The pilot nature of this project will facilitate the updating of OIE standards in the Terrestrial Animal Health Code and Manual. This will rely on the active collaboration with the Pan African Veterinary Vaccine Centre of the African Union (AU-PANVAC), African national Veterinary Services and other relevant partners and stakeholders. 

“PPR is one of the most economically important animal diseases and severely impacts the lives and livelihoods of the world’s poorest. However prevention, control and vaccination tools exist so we are hopeful that this first initiative marks the beginning of a regional and global control strategy for the disease to be improved and implemented with our key partners such as FAO relevant regional organisations and our Member Countries,” Dr Vallat added.

More information

Link to OIE PPR Disease cards: