Strategies to increase adoption of animal vaccines by smallholder farmers

An article in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases outlines strategies that can be used to increase the adoption of animal vaccines by smallholder farmers in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, with focus on the control of neglected tropical diseases, particularly neglected zoonotic diseases (NZDs).

The authors – Meritxell Donadeu, Nick Nwankpa, Bernadette Abela-Ridder and Baptiste Dungu – say that strategies differ depending on whether the vaccines are aimed at diseases that cause economic losses, government-controlled diseases, or neglected diseases. The adoption of vaccines for neglected diseases presents a major challenge, because they are mostly for zoonotic diseases; livestock may not show clinical signs of the disease, making it more difficult for the farmers to appreciate the value of the vaccines.

For diseases that cause economic losses, the strategies include the creation of access points, establishment of community supply, prize mechanisms, increased awareness and increased vaccine value.

For diseases controlled by the government, the strategies can include government policies that promote the use of vaccines, partially or fully subsidized vaccines only to marginalized populations, ensuring that vaccination policies promote cooperation among farmers, and strengthening national veterinary services.

For neglected animal diseases, including NZDs, the strategies will be different. For diseases such as Taenia solium and Echinococcus granulosus, animals do not show clinical manifestations or do not have any increased value after vaccination, providing little incentive for farmers to vaccinate. The strategies to address NZDs can include:

• creation of vaccine antigen banks or stockpiles, such as the rabies vaccine bank.
• transformation of public goods into private goods by combining vaccines, bundling products or expanding the label claims. For example, the vaccine for E. granulosus could be combined with clostridial vaccines or the vaccination for Peste des petits ruminants.
• development of disease control guidelines and large-scale demonstrations that can encourage governments to implement similar programmes.
• demonstration of the benefit of NZD control programmes to encourage donors and governments to invest in control of NZDs.
• social participation and community engagement.
• integration with other animal health activities. For example, the vaccination for T. solium could be integrated to the vaccination for classical swine fever.
• integration with human health activities. For example, vaccination in pastoralist areas could be undertaken simultaneously in human and animal populations.
• remove technical issues, such as the need for booster vaccines or a cold chain.
• institution of prize mechanisms to overcome some of the technical issues such as the ones mentioned above.

Article: Strategies to increase adoption of animal vaccines by smallholder farmers with focus on neglected diseases and marginalized populations by Meritxell Donadeu, Nick Nwankpa, Bernadette Abela-Ridder and Baptiste Dungu, published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases (2019) 13(2):e0006989, doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0006989

[SOURCE: World Health Organization]