Operation ‘Eliminate Peste des Petit Ruminants’ (PPR) has been launched in the Sekyere Central District of the Ashanti region to fight the viral disease which is killing goats and sheep.

The viral disease is characterized by fever, necrotic stomatitis, gastroenteritis, and pneumonia.

The purpose of the exercise is therefore sought to prevent further death and provide records of at least 94 thousand goats and sheep died annually because of the disease.

The launching is to provide relief to small ruminants farmers.

District Veterinary Officer, Mr Adomako Daniel discovered the disease through surveillance.

“The danger is that it can lead to shortage of meat products.” District Veterinary Officer, Mr Daniel says.

Peste des Petits Ruminants simply known as PPR was first reported in Cote d’Ivoire in 1942 and subsequently in other parts of West Africa.

It is a contagious transboundary disease which has severe negative socio-economic impacts on the income of livestock farmers, livelihoods and food security of most vulnerable rural communities.

Goats and sheep are susceptible to the virus, but goats exhibit more severe clinical conditions.

On a yearly basis, the Sekyere central loses at least 60 per cent of the 157 thousand small ruminants in the district.

This means that, more than 282 thousands goats and sheep have died of the disease in the past three years.

District vet officer, Adomako Daniel is worried the situation is not getting better.

Though human beings are not at risk, it causes a lot of economic loss to livestock farmers.

One farmer, Joseph Lawale says he has lost about twenty mature sheep excluding lambs and kids.

“About twenty (20) of my sheep and goats died of the disease. But lambs and kids were many,” he laments.

It would take about five years to eliminate PPR from the district.

Another big challenge facing farmers is the mange disease, which has killed more than 94 thousand sheep and goats within the same period of three years.


But because mange is ecto-parasite, it does not have a specific period to be eliminated.
Mr. Daniel says they can only manage it.

“We need about 250 thousand cedis to be able to vaccinate all the animals.”

Mr Daniel and his team have intensified their intensive disease surveillance, strict movements of animals in and out of the district among others.

District Chief Executive, Kwadwo Banahene Bediako says his outfit is providing the needed support to the veterinary unit.

“It is our duty to help the people take good care of the animals,” he says.

Mr Bediako joins the veterinary team to its daily surveillance and vaccination exercise.

In a joint strategy for control and eradication of PPR, World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and Food and Agriculture organisation (FAO) set the goal of eradicating the disease by 2030.

Similarity between PPR virus and rinderpest virus allows for the lessons learned from rinderpest eradication to be used in the PPR eradication strategy.

In 2015, high-level authorities and Chief Veterinary Officers from 70 countries met in Abidjan, Ivory Coast to endorse the PPR Global Control and Eradication Strategy, which was confirmed through the adoption of the Resolution N°25 voted at the 84th OIE General Session of the World Assembly of OIE Delegates.

FAO and OIE further established a joint secretariat which would oversee implementation of the adopted strategy.

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