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Peste des petits ruminants control in Africa

11-12 February 2013 90 years of solidarity

Launch meeting of the project “Vaccine Standards and Pilot Approach to Peste des Petits Ruminants Control in Africa” (VSPA), held in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) from 11 to 12 February 2013
Patrick Bastiaensen©

Back on 11 and 12 February 2013: the OIE and African Union (AU) launched a joint project to identify methods for eradicating peste des petits ruminants from several West African countries, starting with the establishment of a regional vaccine bank.

The main objective of the project “Vaccine Standards and Pilot Approach to Peste des Petits Ruminants Control in Africa” (VSPA) is to establish a peste des petits ruminants (PPR) regional vaccine bank for selected countries in West Africa. It aims to test methods for developing a pilot strategy to control and gradually eradicate PPR from several West African countries. A further aim of the project is to improve quality control of the PPR vaccines produced and used in Africa, by optimising the capabilities of the African Union's Pan-African Veterinary Vaccine Centre (AU/PANVAC).
For a reminder
Press release

Small ruminants, a potential driver of economic growth

Small ruminants provide a high percentage of future economic growth potential
©OIE

The project is supported by the OIE World Animal Health and Welfare Fund using funding allocated in 2012 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which sees investment in the protection of small ruminants (goats and sheep) as a key factor in helping rural people to escape poverty. Targeting investment at small ruminants increases support for the poorest farmers, especially women.
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OIE vaccine banks: availability and responsiveness

The establishment of vaccine banks is a major advance in improving animal health and preventing the global spread of transboundary animal diseases.

The OIE has developed a new vaccine bank concept involving the creation of virtual rolling stocks: the supplier (OIE-compliant vaccine production company selected by international tender) produces the vaccines as needed, or they (along with the antigens) remain with the supplier at its own risk and are renewed on a rolling basis under the terms and conditions contractually defined with the OIE.

This concept enables the selected supplier to provide infected countries rapidly with emergency vaccine stocks for vaccinating animal populations at risk and to progressively achieve eradication wherever possible.
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Operation of the PPR vaccine bank 

Following an international call for tenders by the OIE in October 2012, the Botswana Vaccine Institute (BVI) was chosen to supply PPR vaccines. The BVI is one of the organisations responsible for delivering high-quality vaccines and ensuring the rapid and efficient transportation to the countries of destination of any vaccines ordered. Between August 2013 and January 2014, around 10 million vaccine doses were delivered to countries in West Africa.

PPR, a disease with a high economic impact

Goat infected with PPR in the Thiès area (Senegal) 
Habib Salami, © Cirad

PPR, also known as ‘goat plague’, is an infectious viral disease of goats and sheep causing fever, mouth sores, diarrhoea, pneumonia and often death.

The disease is very prevalent in Africa and is spreading to other continents. PPR is one of the most economically important animal diseases and seriously damages the livelihoods and living standards of the world’s poorest owing to loss of their animals. This makes it crucial to control PPR in order to support and improve the living standards of the rural poor, many of whom depend on farming small ruminants.

PPR is a disease listed in the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code (Chapter 14.8), and Member Countries are obliged to report it to the OIE.
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The OIE and PPR

As part of its local and international fight against PPR, in December 2014 the OIE will be holding a joint inter-regional conference with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on a global PPR control strategy.

Standards for PPR vaccines

The OIE Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals (Terrestrial Manual) sets out internationally validated diagnostic methods and procedures for the production and control of vaccines and other biological products. Vaccinations in the field and related research conducted by the project “Vaccine Standards and Pilot Approach to Peste des Petits Ruminants Control in Africa” (VSPA)will contribute to updating the OIE standards in the Terrestrial Manual.

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