State distributes 2m vaccines to combat animal disease PPR
By Awal Mohammed | February 5th 2021
The government has stepped up its efforts to eradicate PPR with the distribution of two million vaccines to affected counties.
The Pestes des Ruminants (PPR) is a highly contagious viral disease and targets small ruminants, particularly sheep and goats.
Speaking during the flagging off ceremony yesterday, Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Jebii Kilimo said the distribution of the vaccines will boost the country’s effort towards food security.
“This vaccine will go a long way in ensuring our livestock is protected and help in safeguarding livelihoods of families that depend on the ruminants,” she said.
Narok and Kajiado counties will receive the largest share of the vaccine in the first rollout starting today.
According to data from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the country lost 1.2 million animals to PPR between 2006 and 2008.
The virus can infect up to 90 per cent of sheep and goats, and the disease kills between 30 and 70 per cent of infected animals.
Its symptoms include fever, discharges from the eyes and mouth, disturbed breathing and cough as well as diarrhoea.
Data from FAO shows that the annual impact of the disease in 2016 crossed the Sh1 billion mark with experts fearing the virus may wipe out livelihoods in the affected regions.
According to FAO’s representative in Kenya Carla Mucavi, the virus poses a threat to livelihoods, especially in arid and semi-arid areas.
“This vaccine is a clear indication of our resolve to fight the virus and help in eradicating it by 2027, and in so doing we shall have ensured that livelihoods are protected, especially in Asal regions,” she said.
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