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UK offers livestock disease support to Kenya

The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and its partners has issued £3.6mn to fund a disease surveillance programme to reduce the incidence of diseases transmitted between people and livestock in western Kenya

According to DFID, the Zoonoses in Livestock in Kenya programme (ZooLink) will be implemented by the University of Liverpool and other partners.

The project will involve training of veterinary and medical technicians to monitor farms, markets and slaughterhouses and will be funded through a ‘Zoonoses in Emerging Livestock Systems’ (ZELS) programme, DFID stated.

The Kenyan government will roll out a mobile data collection system to be used to generate a comprehensive database on the prevalence and economic impact of these diseases. Information generated will be used to influence government health policy in the area.

The study will test 7,500 livestock and 6,000 humans for 14 diseases through visits to markets, slaughterhouses and healthcare facilities in an area with a population of 1.5mn people, the Kenyan government said.

The five year project will work closely with the Kenyan government’s Zoonotic Disease Unit to collect the data that can be adopted in future as a framework for a national surveillance system.