21st November 2014 – The Centre for Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases, or just CTTBD as it is better known, is in the outskirts of Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi. It produces a unique vaccine against a killer livestock disease responsible for large numbers of deaths in cattle. East Cost Fever (ECF or Ndigana as it is known in parts of Kenya and Tanzania) is responsible for over 1 million cattle deaths a year with considerable consequences on livestock keepers’ livelihoods.
However, a solution is available. A vaccine referred to as the ECF-ITM involves infecting an animal with disease-causing organisms and then treating the animal with a long-acting antibiotic to produce lifelong immunity.
It takes over 18 months to produce the vaccine at a considerable cost. The vaccine is expensive BUT not as expensive as the cost and effects of loss of livelihoods to the livestock keeper.