Livestock in Ethiopia contribute to the livelihoods of more than 11.3 million rural households and account for up to 25% of the national gross domestic product and 20% of export earnings. The Ethiopian Government wants to further tap the immense potential of the livestock sector for poverty reduction, enhancing food and nutrition security, economic growth and foreign exchange earnings.
Deficiencies in animal health, feed and genetics constrain the livestock sector in Ethiopia. There is a lack of quality information to guide evidence-based policy and investments for further development of the sector. Poor animal health is endemic in the country, with a wide range of animal diseases and health problems burdening the livestock sector. Good quality and high-resolution data on the causes and scale of this animal health burden, and an understanding of who is affected and how, are essential if objectives for growing the sector are to be met. As in much of the developing world, these are lacking in Ethiopia. Global Burden of Animal Diseases (GBADs) – a global programme led by the University of Liverpool and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) – seeks to address this problem.
The GBADs programme has the main objective of producing detailed data on the global burden of animal diseases, with flexible methodologies that can be used for evidence-based decisions on animal health policy and systems.
Ethiopia has been selected as a case study country for the GBADs programme. The available livestock and livestock-health related data will be searched and collated, and GBADs animal health metrics will be generated to estimate the animal health burden for different livestock sectors, livestock keepers and livestock health problems, identifying data gaps for future refinement. This understanding will improve the efficiency of policy and technology interventions and enhance the contribution of the livestock sector to national development objectives and the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.