NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenyan scientists have finalized plans to roll
out the new East Coast Fever (ECF) vaccine to help save farmers
from losing their cattle from dying.
director of Veterinary Research Institute (VRI) at Kenya
Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), said
on Wednesday evening that the vaccine TPava Marikebuni will be
launched officially in mid November.
“The vaccine will be
available to farmers in all veterinary laboratories and
stockists in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi,”
Mungube told journalists in Nairobi.
Mungube noted that
technicians from the east African countries have been trained at
the institute to empower them on how best to apply the vaccine
once it is launched.
observed that the new vaccine that is being developed at a cost
of 150,000 U.S. dollars is replacing the old one that was
unveiled in 1981 and is soon running out of stock in the next
“We sold half a
million doses of the vaccine then and demand continues to be
high but due to lack of stock, we had to develop a new vaccine,”
He observed that
over the years, farmers have been making huge losses due to the
prevalence of ECF, a tick borne infection of cattle in Kenya and
the countries within the East, Central and Southern Africa.
Sam Ndungu, head
division of ECF at VRI said that the fatality rate for untreated
ECF can be as high as 99 percent in cattle from non-endemic
Ndungu said that the
small brown ticks that are found within the animal’s ears are
not very visible hence they kill the cattle unknowingly due to
“Both the cost of
spray and treatment are high hence the high number of deaths of
cattle in the region,” he said, noting that farmers in the
region lose 60 million dollars annually in the treatment of the
Ndungu noted that it
has also been proven that the drugs residues are found in meat
and milk hence the need for precaution on the use of acaricides.
The scientist said
that infected cattle develops fever, enlarged lymph nodes, lack
of appetite, labored breathing and discharges red urine and
shows high drop in milk production.
“We are certain that
zero grazing is a better control measures against the disease
but transport of fodder is posing a challenge as they spread the
ticks,” he added.
According to the
scientists, farmers will have to pay 2 dollars per dose of the
vaccine in treating 10 cattle.
The institute that
is run by KALRO has so far produced 150,000 doses of vaccine
that is ready for the launch.