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The Global Effort to Eradicate Rinderpest - International Food Policy ...

The Global Effort to Eradicate Rinderpest - International Food Policy ...

Table 1. (Continued)

Table 1. (Continued) World Region History Sudan and eastern Africa The Middle East and Arabian Peninsula Source: Authors’ formulation. Eastern Africa lagged behind in the eradication effort because, it is now clear, the persisting reservoirs of infection in the very large, remote and marginalized cattle herds of the pastoralists were not at first adequately addressed. JP15 came and went without greatly altering the problem of virus reservoirs and the PARC, despite some significant successes in Ethiopia, left behind a legacy of greatly reduced, but continuing, viral persistence in southern Sudan and the Somali pastoral ecosystem (comprising but not necessarily involving contiguous areas of Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia). The PACE contributed to capacity development while ancillary projects in Somalia, operated by nongovernmental organizations contributed significantly to rinderpest surveillance and control. In southern Sudan, the progressive control of rinderpest through community-based animal health programs implemented by various NGOs under the aegis of Operation Lifeline Sudan was a remarkable achievement. By 1999, rinderpest was occurring only in the cattle herds of two tribes and was eliminated by 2000 by intensive vaccination through Operation Lifeline Sudan, working closely with the PACE program’s “The fight against African lineage 1 rinderpest virus” project and the GREP secretariat. The Somali ecosystem situation of supposed, but essentially spurious, virus persistence after 2001 was finally resolved by a project established under the PACE but continuing after its termination— the Somali Ecosystem Rinderpest Eradication Coordination Unit. Its intensive epidemiological studies in collaboration with the nongovernmental organization Terra Nova and the GREP secretariat demonstrated clearly by 2008 that rinderpest had ceased to circulate several years previously. Somalia is now well-placed to apply for OIE recognition of rinderpest freedom despite the political chaos that persists in the country. Rinderpest was last detected near Meru National Park in Kenya in October 2001. Outbreaks of rinderpest occurred frequently in countries such as Yemen, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, and Qatar up to the mid-1990s. Epidemiological studies, based on molecular epidemiology, led to the conclusion that the major problem was repeated introduction of infection in traded cattle from South Asia, which gave rise to local epidemics persisting sometimes for years. Once the South Asian foci (essentially Pakistan at the end) yielded to control, the countries of the Arabian Peninsula could eliminate the disease. The last outbreaks were experienced in Oman in 1995 and Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar in 1996. Rinderpest in Iraq seeded infection into Iran and Turkey until it was eliminated from all three countries in 1996. Rinderpest eradication was neither the outcome of a single project or program nor due to the efforts of a single agency, but was rather the result of a series of periodic, concerted, and coordinated international efforts built on the ongoing national programs of many affected countries. If one views the start as the point when goat-adapted attenuated vaccines were readily available, then the process has taken some 70 years. Describing the benefits of rinderpest eradication in financial terms is severely constrained not only by the paucity of studies conducted but also by the fact that international funding for rinderpest control was distributed to programs that covered many other issues, including privatization of veterinary services, generic surveillance, and control of other diseases such as contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP). The rinderpest control element is not clearly discernible and, thus, expenditure on rinderpest control can be easily overestimated. Despite the overwhelming success in ridding the world of this devastating disease, two important gaps in research remain. First, there are too few analyses synthesizing the broad technical and coordination lessons that have arisen from the control of rinderpest. Given the existence and emergence of other virulent animal diseases (for example PPR, FMD, highly pathogenic avian influenza, porcine high fever disease, and African swine fever), it is critical that lessons derived from the rinderpest story be clearly explicated and shared. Second, even less information is available on the broad economic impacts of rinderpest control. As will be noted in this paper, while a few technical analyses of specific programs have been made, none of these has examined the broader pro-poor impacts that such control measures have had. This paper will attempt to illuminate some of these potential gains on the broader economy and 4

on household welfare in selected cases, though further research will be required to adequately delve more deeply into specific livelihood effects. 5

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