MAHERY Vaccine Campaign
Laurel Myers, DVM/MPH candidate, School of Medicine and Public Health and School of Veterinary Medicine
In Madagascar, many households rely on bushmeat as their primary means of accessing animal source foods. Previous research indicates that decreased bushmeat consumption leads to increased incidence of anemia. However, reliance on bushmeat both increases the potential for zoonotic disease transmission and threatens the nation’s delicate ecosystems. Upon examination of regional taboos and taste preferences, chicken was identified as a possible alternative meat source. Yet Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV), an avian respiratory disease with high morbidity and mortality rates, is endemic to the island, making it difficult to rear poultry. In response, the Madagascar Health and Environmental Research (MAHERY) program is conducting a vaccine campaign to decrease the incidence of NDV and increase poultry production. It is our hope that increased access to a reliable protein source will both decrease bushmeat consumption by Malagasy citizens and decrease nutritional deficiencies. Harnessing an existing model that projects the impacts of the vaccine on chicken survivorship, we will first conduct a systematic review of existing literature from various countries that examine the way NDV has affected demographics, survivorship, and consumption of chickens and eggs. We will then use this information to improve the existing impact model and to better inform future intervention options.