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Economy

Rinderpest eradication rich in lessons

Buffalos at Meru National Park. PHOTO | SARAH OOKO | NMG
Buffalos at Meru National Park. PHOTO | SARAH OOKO | NMG 

Near the entrance to Meru National Park, a massive bronze statue of a wild buffalo stares at visitors.

But this is not just any statue. Its use in the park, since 2011, symbolises the global eradication of rinderpest— a lethal viral disease that wiped herds of cattle, leaving pastoralist communities languishing in poverty.

A unilateral decision was made by the global community to have the statue at the park as it was the site of the world’s last recorded outbreak of rinderpest (German word that means cattle plague in English) in 2001.

Symptoms of the disease include fever, dehydration, profuse diarrhoea, erosive mouth lesions and discharge from the nose and eyes.

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