20/10/2010 - 

Small ruminants plague, or peste des petits ruminants (PPR), is a highly contagious viral disease of goats and sheep, and in some areas also affecting camelids. The disease is characterised by fever, necrotic inflammation of the mouth, enteritis and sometimes high mortality (of up to 90%). PPR is widespread in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as in Asia and the Middle East, where it has-and continues to-impact public health, rural livelihoods and livestock-dependent economic growth.

As follow-up to and building on the success so far achieved through the Global Rinderpest Eradication Programme (GREP), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is now preparing a global framework for the progressive control of PPR to be considered jointly by FAO and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) under the umbrella of the Global Framework for the Progressive Control of Transboundary Animal Diseases (GF-TADs).

FAO has reflected on the component parts to be considered under the PPR global framework and has identified two priorities for further elaboration in the short term:

  1. The threat posed by PPR to the wide geographic area of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is of some urgency and requires the attention of potential funding agencies and international as well as regional technical or developmental assistance agencies that could lend a helping hand.
  2. FAO is in a strategic position to assist India with the initiatives undertaken to step-up the fight against PPR, along with FMD and brucellosis. In this regard, India has initiated preparatory steps in planning for strategic, epidemiology- based surveillance and vaccination schemes to facilitate actions to disrupt transmission cycles, as required. 

In addition to the above two priorities, FAO is preparing for preparatory studies to be undertaken in other ecogeographical regions, following a comprehensive approach incorporating aspects of multidimensional impact profiles, epidemiology, farming systems dynamics, socio-economics and livestock-environment dimensions. These studies will involve Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and sub-Saharan Africa. Separately, follow-up epidemiological investigations are required to clarify the extent of PPR spread in Eastern Asia, China in particular, and the need to mobilise efforts in an attempt to halt progressive spread of disease in this area.

For a related web article titled "FAO supports study on the socioeconomic impacts of peste de petits ruminants in Kenya", click here