Somali Ecosystem (SES)
African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources
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Since the introduction of Rinderpest to the African continent in the 1890s there have been several efforts to remove this disease. These efforts had by 1905 succeeded in southern Africa. But for several reasons efforts to eradicate rinderpest from the rest of sub-Saharan Africa have been more complicated and only intermittently and temporarily successful. The factors include: endemic maintenance of rinderpest within persistent residual foci of infection in remote pastoral herds, the unclear role of the wildlife sentinel population in endemic maintenance, the inadequacy of veterinary services, pastoral husbandry practices per se aiding viral persistence, insecurity and war. The first major coordinated, international effort "Joint Programme 15" (JP15), a multi-donor funded project, implemented during the 1960s and 1970s was coordinated by the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and assisted by many international organisations and government veterinary authorities. Relying extensively on mass vaccination campaigns, JP 15 succeeded in confining the disease to the more remote pastoral areas but was unable to eradicate it. Once the pressure of vaccination was reduced the disease spread from the residual foci of infection left in the Senegal River basin and in the Greater Horn of Africa. The second major effort, the "Pan African Rinderpest Campaign" (PARC 1986 - 1999) learnt important lessons from "JP15" and was widely considered a success for its holistic approach. It aimed at progressively ceasing vaccination against rinderpest, setting-up early warning systems, which can detect as early as possible the presence of disease, strengthening veterinary services and putting in place a emergency preparedness plan for rinderpest. Another novel approach of PARC is a use of active disease searching and community-based animal health delivery systems in remote pastoralist areas. Historically the ecosystem (SES) can be described as the zone occupied by the Somali ethnic community and their livestock and adjacent areas into which these animals are moved for pasture or trade purposes. According to the epidemiological rindrpest situation the SES covers north-east Kenya, Southern and Central Somalia, and the region V of Ethiopia. However, this definition needs to be flexible and will be based on the agreed epidemiological situation at any given time. This also fits in with the OlE approach of zoning in order to be able to follow a procedure for confirming absence of the virus. Currently the exact extent of virus circulation is not known.
- PACE Documents & Reports