Kenya is joining global efforts in eradicating Peste des petits ruminants (PPR), also known as ‘goat plague’ by developing its national strategy towards this end. PPR is a deadly and highly contagious viral disease that affects sheep and goats. Currently, the disease causes heavy losses especially in goats and is one of the most damaging livestock diseases in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Various components of the strategy were discussed during a workshop convened by ILRI and FAO and attended by county veterinary service providers earlier in October 2015. The African Union’s Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) was also represented at the workshop. The workshop focused on determining the current incidence and prevalence rates of this deadly disease in seven semi-arid counties and formulating scenarios for estimating costs and benefits of various control strategies. It emerged that county governments are implementing different approaches towards PPR control. As such, it was recommended that an investigative study be carried out to determine effects of these different approaches in addition to informing ongoing discourse on PPR control at national level.
Earlier in 2015, a strategy towards eliminating the disease by 2030 was formulated under the patronage of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) at a conference in Côte d’Ivoire. The strategy of the Kenyan government focuses on strengthening veterinary services across affected countries and creation of more cost effective ways to control other priority livestock diseases. It postulates a consistent approach at national level towards PPR eradication which is based on four main stages ranging from epidemiological and socio-economic assessment.