AU-IBAR underlines its commitment to enhancing the wellbeing of Africa's people by providing leadership in the control of transboundary animal diseases (TADs) on the continent, with the eradication of rinderpest being the culmination of this effort. There are however, other TADs, besides rinderpest, which hamper the development of animal resources in Africa.
It is noteworthy that about 300 million people in Africa, living in poverty, depend on livestock for their livelihood, but infectious diseases impact more than 20% losses to livestock productivity. Such diseases include Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) in sheep and goats, Contagious Caprine and Bovine Pleuropneumonias (CCPP & CBPP) in goats and cattle respectively and Newcastle Disease (ND) in poultry.
A Financing Agreement for contribution by the European Union (EU) for € 20 million was signed on the 26th of December, 2009 by AU-IBAR, on behalf of the AUC, with the European Union (EU) Food Facility for a 20-month regional project under the Action entitled: "Food Facility, EU-AU-IBAR VACNADA" for the implementation of "Vaccines for the Control of Neglected Animal Diseases in Africa" (VACNADA) project. The project's intervention was in response to soaring food prices to help the most vulnerable countries to move towards long-term food security through the reduction of the impact of animal diseases.
The VACNADA project was coordinated by AU-IBAR in close partnership with the African Union Pan African Veterinary Vaccine Centre (AU-PANVAC), the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVmed), the Centre for International Cooperation in Agronomic Research for Development (CIRAD) and the National Veterinary Authorities in the respective countries.
- African vaccine producing laboratories were requested to bid for production; the procured vaccines were distributed to target countries for vaccination of animals. Participating countries were required to contribute staff, office space, vehicles and other logistics for the activities including cold chain facilities.
- Through needs assessment and evaluation of mechanisms for effective and sustainable distribution of vaccines, the project assisted participating laboratories in developing and/or strengthening their distribution systems through technical training, development of business plans, facilitating access to credit and improvement of the cold chain infrastructure.
- Vaccine market for selected diseases beyond the life span of the project were identified through analysis of the existing and potential markets.
- Awareness creation before, during and post vaccination was conducted to sensitize livestock owners on the technical and economical benefits of the vaccination.
- Staff in selected laboratories identified through a needs assessment received training in laboratory and vaccine operation management, have their laboratory facilities upgraded and technical support provided for the implementation of quality assurance and standardization of the production process of selected vaccines.
- Funding support was provided to AU-PANVAC to enable the purchase of laboratory equipment, materials and consumables and to carry out maintenance and calibrations of equipment in order to strengthen mechanisms for the implementation of quality assurance in vaccine production on the African continent.
To enable VACNADA deliver on its objectives and purpose within the short project implementation period of 20 months, a Steering Committee (SC) composed of high-level stakeholders and partners was established, being responsible for providing guidance on overall strategic direction for the effective coordination, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the VACNADA project.
It was anticipated that sustainability beyond the project lifespan would be achieved because the following actions were imbedded in the project design:
- Improving existing vaccine production capacity in selected laboratories, and creating a market.
- Capacity building with veterinary services in recipient countries on the organization of vaccination campaigns.