Improving business development in the animal health sector and improving livestock productivity through the reduction of major livestock diseases in sub-Saharan Africa.
As one of the most rapidly developing regions in the world, Sub-Saharan Africa is also home to some of the largest livestock populations in the world and the highest density of impoverished livestock farmers.
Nigeria has the largest overall African livestock population of 144 million chickens and 131 million ruminants.
Ethiopia has the largest cattle population in Africa of 57 million.
Uganda has the highest pork consumption rate per capita in East Africa. The pig population is projected to grow from 3.2 million to 8 million in 2020.
Over half of the people who live on less than $1 per day in Sub-Saharan Africa depend on livestock, which provides up to 45 percent of the total family income. Livestock are an essential asset to rural communities and the health of livestock is critical to achieving food security in areas of exceptionally high animal and human disease incidence.
To ensure rising food and nutrient needs are met, livestock farming productivity must be improved. However, there are serious constraints to livestock farming and severe limitations in the animal health sector overall, including:
Lack of access to high-quality veterinary medicines and products.
Poor veterinary extension services in rural communities, resulting in low medicalisation rates and high disease incidence.
Limited diagnostic infrastructure for animal disease detection and intervention.
Poorly regulated veterinary product supply networks, coupled with lack of education, results in incorrect animal health product use and subsequent ineffectiveness of medicines.
In an effort to tackle the above constraints, The African Livestock Productivity and Health Advancement (A.L.P.H.A) Initiative was created in May 2017 following award of a $14.4 million, three-year co-funded grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to Zoetis lnc, the largest global animal health company. This co-funding partnership between BMGF and Zoetis is unique; where BMGF is working directly together with industry to improve livestock production.