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Healthy livestock can help children's health.

Vaccinating livestock against disease can improve the economic situation for farming families in sub-Saharan Africa, freeing up income to boost a household's food security and send children to school, a new study finds.

Published in December in Science Advances, the study examined the effect of vaccinating livestock against East Coast fever among farmers in Kenya. East Coast fever is a tick-borne disease that is the leading cause of calf mortality in regions of eastern and southern Africa. Researchers found that East Coast fever vaccination was positively associated with education expenditures.

In particular, such vaccination, which results in fewer cattle deaths, was positively associated with girls' secondary school attendance. In addition, a 10 percent increase in the number of cattle vaccinated resulted in a 0.56 percent increase in food costs.

"In the bigger picture, the empirical evidence supports the idea that economic growth and human capital accumulation reinforce one another," the study stated. "Education leads to growth, and growth, in turn, raises the demand for education."

Caption: Girls stand near a cow outside their home in October 2015 in Amboseli, Kenya. A new study shows that girls whose families vaccinate their livestock are more likely to go to school. Those families also have greater food security.

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Title Annotation:GLOBE IN BRIEF
Author:Krisberg, Kim
Publication:The Nation's Health
Geographic Code:6KENY
Date:Feb 1, 2017
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