Supporting food security and capacity building in Ethiopia and other African union Member States through sustainable Newcastle disease control

KYEEMA and the African Union in Ethiopia

Since 2013, with generous funding from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and support from African Union (AU), KYEEMA has been working with the African Union-Pan African Veterinary Vaccine Centre (AU-PANVAC) in Ethiopia to establish improved mechanisms for sustainable Newcastle disease control in AU Member States. Our Ethiopian Program Manager is kindly hosted in the AU-PANVAC office in Debre Zeit.


Newcastle disease and food security

Newcastle disease (ND) has been identified as one of the major constraints to village poultry production in Africa. Outbreaks generally peak during the dry season, killing 50 to 100% of the standing flock. ND can be prevented by vaccination but sustainable ND control is a challenge in many AU Member States. An increase in size of household flocks over time as a result of ND vaccination has been shown to increase household chicken and egg consumption, and thus has great potential for reducing household food insecurity, especially for the most vulnerable households who have access to very few resources.


Our Ethiopia Program Manager, Bethelehem Zewde (bottom far left), Africa Regional Manager, Dr Rosa Costa (top far right) and Senior Technical Manager, Dr Mary Young (bottom third from right) attending a meet at AU-PANVAC in Debre Zeit.

Sustainability Goal

To build capacity of future generations of veterinary laboratory personnel and community animal health practitioners across Africa in ND control activities.

Aims and objectives

We are working with AU-PANVAC to develop the capacity of Member States to carry out sustainable ND control. This specifically involves:

1. The production of quality assured ND vaccine, in consistent supply;
2. Enhanced laboratory diagnostic capability;
3. The delivery of cost-effective surveillance; and
4. The implementation of vaccination programs for rural chickens.


Dra. Rosa Costa Women of Kyeema

Our Africa Regional Manager Dr Rosa Costa.

  • Three Master Trainer curricula in 1) vaccine production, testing and distribution; 2) diagnostic laboratory; and 3) field and surveillance activities are in the testing phase and will soon be released.
  • Considering socioeconomic determinants, interest in ND control and geographical distribution, in-country assessments were carried out in six countries to evaluate capabilities of potential project partners.
  • In 2017, KYEEMA supported and funded the development of manuals and extension materials for trainers of community vaccinators, their adaptation to the Ethiopian context and their translation into Amharic. With funds from the Direct Aid Program of the Australian Embassy in Ethiopia, KYEEMA team members worked with the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research to pre-test ND training curricula in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia and then train Ethiopian Agricultural field staff from five provinces in the new materials.

For the latest on our activities with AU-PANVAC, please visit our blog.

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