Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is a highly infectious viral disease impacting sheep and goats. As part of a global effort to eradicate PPR by 2030, the U.S. Government through USAID has partnered with the Government of Kenya (GOK) to develop better strategies to identify and vaccinate herds at risk of getting the disease.

Between December 2021 and January 2022, the USAID - GOK vaccination efforts led to the vaccination of 750,00 sheep and goats in Turkana and Pokot Counties. 

Preventing PPR is critical to protect livelihoods for pastoralists. Direct economic losses due to PPR in Turkana County in 2010 were estimated at US $19 million mostly due to death of livestock who contracted the disease.  The vaccine provides protection for the life of the animal, thereby preventing thousands of livestock deaths and improving pastoral incomes and livelihoods. 

“Livestock is the main source of livelihood and incomes for pastoralists in the ASAL counties of northern Kenya. The United States’ support in protecting livestock through this vaccination has significantly helped to save lives, particularly during the ongoing drought in northern Kenya,” said Dr. Ernest Njoroge, USAID Kenya and East Africa’s Resilience and Livestock Advisor.  

To achieve the high vaccination coverage of 80% or higher needed to stop the transmission cycle, the vaccination campaign works with county veterinary officials alongside community disease reporters to reach as many sheep and goats as possible. Community involvement, especially at the county, sub-county, ward level and kraal leaders, has helped pastoralists understand the benefits of herd vaccination, leading to the high number of vaccinated animals in the counties.  

Project Background:  

PPR occurs throughout Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, and the annual global impacts of PPR have been estimated at between US $1.4 billion and US $2.1 billion. Although PPR is vaccine-preventable, eradication strategies still require further research to be fully effective. 

The Peste des Petits Ruminants Vaccine Associate Award project started in 2017 and will end in 2022 with the goal of controlling PPR in sheep and goats through better vaccines and improving the identification and immunization of at-risk herds in Kenya and Uganda. It is funded by USAID implemented by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems at the University of Florida, in partnership with Tufts University in the United States of America.  

In Kenya, the project is implemented in collaboration with the Directorate of Veterinary Services, the County Veterinary Services, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization - Veterinary Science Research Institute, and the Kenya Veterinary Vaccines Production Institute.  

Vaccination of goats taking place.
Vaccination of goats taking place.
FTF Innovation Lab/USAID