SSLLP has just published a summary of its most recent vaccination campaign against Newcastle disease of poultry.
Newcastle disease is widely cited as the most serious source of loss in village chickens in this part of the world. Vaccines have long been available but earlier types were not well suited for use in village poultry. Technical advances supported by Australian international development agencies have led to the development in recent years of a vaccine known as I-2, which is better suited to rural conditions where refrigeration is not readily available. Because of this vaccine's usefulness at the grass-roots level, SSLLP has been an active and vocal proponent of its use. SSLLP has promoted Newcastle disease vaccination in all of its project areas. Last year, it was the biggest single distributor of I-2 in Malawi. Importantly, small scale rural farmers in Malawi recognise that vaccination with I-2 is effective and are keen to use it.
SSLLP has now had five years of experience with Newcastle disease vaccination in rural communities. Over time, a model has evolved for vaccination programs conducted by community based vaccinators. These are people chosen by the local communities, who are trained to undertake vaccination within their own villages. They charge a small fee of K10 (about $0.04) for each chicken vaccinated and thus have enough to purchase more vaccine for future use. (Re-vaccination is required three times each year). The fee structure is sufficient to allow an incentive for them to continue their work. The role of SSLLP is limited to providing the enabling environment including initial training and start-up resources.
With some 908 vials of I-2 passing through SSLLP's hands, this July's vaccination campaign was the best yet. At least 227,000 village chickens were estimated to have been vaccinated in this campaign. Full details of the data for the various districts is available in the summary report which can be found here.
Although 227,000 chickens sounds a lot, there is massive scope for expansion into areas where vaccination is not regularly practised. SSLLP is keen to widen the coverage of vaccination with I-2. Interested individuals or institutions can assist in realising this goal by supporting the establishment of new community based vaccinators. Click here to find out how.
SSLLP can also give in-kind support to local agencies interested in Newcastle disease vaccination or already undertaking vaccination in rural communities. We have training materials and plenty of practical advice. If you need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.