Science in Kenya

To Rid the World of Rinderpest

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To Rid the World of Rinderpest. In 1962, researchers based in Muguga, Kenya working under Walter Plowright of the East African Veterinary Research Organization (a precursor to the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization) created the first safe and effective vaccine for rinderpest, a deadly animal disease implicated in critical events in human history ranging from the fall of the Roman empire to the colonization of East Africa. Rinderpest wreaked havoc on the livelihoods of East Africa’s pastoralists since it was first introduced to the region in the 1890s. The vaccine formula developed in Kenya, along with later improvements, became one of the cornerstones of the vaccination effort that finally eradicated rinderpest in 2011.

Mawazo Institute