Cost-benefit analysis of foot and mouth disease control in Ethiopia

W.T. Jemberu*, M.C.M. Mourits, J. Rushton, H. Hogeveen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Foot and mouth disease (FMD) occurs endemically in Ethiopia. Quantitative insights on its national economic impact and on the costs and benefits of control options are, however, lacking to support decision making in its control. The objectives of this study were, therefore, to estimate the annual costs of FMD in cattle production systems of Ethiopia, and to conduct an ex ante cost-benefit analysis of potential control alternatives.

The annual costs of FMD were assessed based on production losses, export losses and control costs. The total annual costs of FMD under the current status quo of no official control program were estimated at 1354 (90% CR: 864–2042) million birr. The major cost (94%) was due to production losses. The costs and benefits of three potential control strategies: 1) ring vaccination (reactive vaccination around outbreak area supported by animal movement restrictions, 2) targeted vaccination (annual preventive vaccination in high risk areas plus ring vaccination in the rest of the country), and 3) preventive mass vaccination (annual preventive vaccination of the whole national cattle population) were compared with the baseline scenario of no official control program. Experts were elicited to estimate the influence of each of the control strategies on outbreak incidence and number of cases per outbreak. Based on these estimates, the incidence of the disease was simulated stochastically for 10 years. Preventive mass vaccination was epidemiologically the most efficient control strategy by reducing the national outbreak incidence below 5% with a median time interval of 3 years, followed by targeted vaccination strategy with a corresponding median time interval of 5 years. On average, all evaluated control strategies resulted in positive net present values. The ranges in the net present values were, however, very wide, including negative values. The targeted vaccination strategy was the most economic strategy with a median benefit cost ratio of 4.29 (90%CR: 0.29–9.63). It was also the least risky strategy with 11% chance of a benefit cost ratio of less than one.

The study indicates that FMD has a high economic impact in Ethiopia. Its control is predicted to be economically profitable even without a full consideration of gains from export. The targeted vaccination strategy is shown to provide the largest economic return with a relatively low risk of loss. More studies to generate data, especially on production impact of the disease and effectiveness of control measures are needed to improve the rigor of future analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-82
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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