The SOS Initiative

Since its inception in 2006, IKARE’s resources have been dedicated to the SOS (Stamp Out Sleeping sickness) initiative, launched in Kampala, Uganda, in October of the same year.

IKARE was alerted to the threat of two strains of sleeping sickness converging in Northern Uganda through its then portfolio company Ceva Santé Animale, a global veterinary health company.  Uganda is the only country to be affected by both forms of this lethal disease, which is spread by the tse-tse fly and kills more than 100 people every day in Africa.

Ceva together with the Universities of Edinburgh, UK and Makerere, Uganda had been in discussions with the Ugandan authorities on how to stop this threatening epidemic, but the necessary funding was lacking.

When alerted to the situation IK approached the project like an investment. We did a due diligence, we talked to relevant stakeholders and we discussed in which way we could ensure sustainability beyond the emergency intervention and IKARE was founded as a conduit for channeling the IK support.

Initially, IKARE and Ceva, working together with local partner HHS Ltd and Makerere University provided emergency treatment for close to 250,000 cattle in five districts in Northern Uganda. Since then, an additional 200,000 plus cattle have been treated in two adjacent districts, and we have focused on building a sustainable delivery network for veterinary products and services in these districts. This has been achieved through providing start-up financing and mentoring support to young veterinarians  setting up their own practices and in addition providing work for close to 200 self-employed spray people offering their services to farmers on a commercial basis.

We wanted to leave something sustainable behind. We want to empower local farmers and communities with the knowledge and tools to treat their cattle on an ongoing basis.
Anne Holm Rannaleet, Executive Director, IK Aid and Relief Enterprise Ltd (IKARE)