Millions of the world’s poorest households and most vulnerable people rely on income generated from poultry to pay for their day to day needs. In particular, women and children depend on poultry to pay for their families’ education or as a quick source of cash in times of trouble.
Newcastle Disease (ND) is a deadly disease to poultry that puts at risk 70% of the estimated 1.38 billion chickens in Africa. ND is preventable – effective vaccines exist – but too often small farmers do not benefit. For example, they do not know the vaccines exist, the batches are too large to be useful with their tiny flocks, and they are not sold in rural areas as they must be kept chilled.
DFID is dealing with this issue by establishing and funding GALVmed, a research programme that looks to help farmers improve the health of their animals in low income countries. GALVmed is looking at the problem from a number of angles, from improving the vaccines themselves to educating farmers and therefore ensuring that they can make best use of the vaccines. This includes making sure that everyone in the supply chain is benefitting, from producers to shop-keepers.