This project is studying the economic and social factors that influence how foot-and-mouth disease is controlled in Kenya at local and national levels.


Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is considered one of the most economically relevant transboundary animal diseases because of its high transmissibility, impact on production and trade restrictions at local, national and international levels. Control is likely to be linked to an improvement in livelihoods particularly in low and middle-income countries reliant on livestock, where FMD is often endemic. However, the economic impact and control incentives for FMD are poorly understood and likely to vary across livestock systems in these settings.

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is endemic in Kenya, with frequent outbreaks. When outbreaks occur, reactive vaccination and movement controls are implemented by public veterinary services. This is organised at the level of county government, who subsidise vaccination at a county-level to varying degrees. Additionally, privately-paid and managed prophylactic vaccination is practised routinely on some farms. Understanding the socioeconomic drivers that affect disease control within relevant livestock systems, and the cost-effectiveness of control options are important components of designing FMD control programmes. However, globally, few studies have examined this subject in depth.


This study is developing a conceptual framework for socioeconomic studies studying FMD disease control in endemic settings, producing recommendations for FMD control strategies that are embedded in local context. By building a better estimate of the economic impact of FMD, understanding factors influencing its control and analysing the cost-effectiveness of control options prioritisation of resources for disease control will be enhanced.

Through investigation of the socioeconomic factors affecting FMD control, this Kenya-UK collaboration is performing an economic evaluation of different control options in Kenya. This includes investigation of decision-making within FMD control and vaccine value chain mapping alongside economic disease impact analysis. Assessment of previous FMD control efforts in Kenya, with integration of this knowledge into analysis of relevant livestock production and animal healthcare systems is being undertaken. Ultimately, the study is describing control options in terms of cost-effectiveness, ensuring that potential options align to the country’s requirements and resources.


Building a better estimate of the costs involved in FMD and its control will enhance prioritisation of economic resource allocation. This estimate will be integrated with the improved understanding of the animal health system’s structure and dynamics with respect to disease control to enhance their applicability and use. Stakeholders will be able to use the results to enhance their decision-making in respect to FMD control. At a national level this work will help policy makers balance the economic benefits of different control options, allowing the most efficient allocation of public resources. At a regional level, this work will provide a standardised format for articulating socioeconomic factors, supporting coordination of different control programmes and data collection activities. At a local level, the framework resulting from this project will deliver guidance for shaping context-appropriate communication materials during disease control campaigns.


This project is funded by the RVC and The Pirbright Institute and is partnered with the University of Nairobi.



Publication Year
Understanding what shapes disease control: An historical analysis of foot-and-mouth disease in Kenya Preventative Veterinary Medicine 2021
Factors influencing decision-making for foot-and-mouth disease control in Kenya EuFMD Open Session 2020
How do you define a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in an endemic context? EuFMD Open Session 2020
Understanding what shapes disease control: the history of foot and mouth disease in Kenya International Society for Economics and Social Science of Animal Health 2020
The importance of an accurate historical record for effective One Health programmes: a case study focusing on foot-and-mouth disease in Kenya. World One Health Congress 2020

News / In the media

Podcast: Listen here - The study was featured on the emergence podcast, an initiative from MSD Animal Health for news and views on transboundary and emerging diseases, on an episode focusing on vaccine security.

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