Angus Cameron has recently published a paper outlining a new approach to the global eradication of Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) which is a devastating disease of sheep and goats and which threatens the livelihoods and food security in the world’s poorest countries.
Many disease eradication campaigns use long-term mass vaccination. As duration increases, so does the total cost, but effectiveness and sustainability decrease, risking fatigue and failure. Instead of this old style of trench warfare Angus proposes a guerrilla strategy which relies on exceptionally good, timely intelligence, rapid vaccination strikes in small areas and keep moving.
Angus argues that for peste des petits ruminants eradication, this new approach addresses key challenges: ineffective surveillance and movement management. PPR can be rapidly eliminated from small populations by achieving very high levels of vaccination coverage for a short period. The key is to use these new surveillance approaches to prevent the re-introduction of disease as immunity wanes, and to respond rapidly to local outbreaks. This necessarily involves high levels of community engagement.
Angus’ paper can be downloaded here
Angus was also present at the Gates Foundation Grand Challenges meeting in Addis Ababar, Ethiopia in October, presented a poster (below), and had the opportunity to talk over this new approach with others driven to find new solutions to pressing global problems.