FAO Promotes System of Community-Based Animal Health Workers Safeguarding Livestock Production in Borno State, Nigeria. - LivestockTrend


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Friday 30 October 2020

FAO Promotes System of Community-Based Animal Health Workers Safeguarding Livestock Production in Borno State, Nigeria.

Safeguarding livestock production is among the vulnerable pastoralists in northeast Nigeria, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has supported the establishment of Community-based Animal Health Workers (CBAHWs) in Borno State.


The aim of the project is to build capacity of 150 youths who will provide veterinary support to

pastoralists in their respective communities. The youths will also be equipped with the necessary veterinary tool kits.


CBAHWs play a critical role in the community-level prevention, early detection and curtailment of animal diseases, particularly in remote areas. They provide efficient, cost-effective and demand-driven technical veterinary services to rural pastoralists. The CBAHW system by FAO will address the challenges currently faced by pastoralists in accessing veterinary services in the state.


The first batch of 40 trainees graduated on 19 October 2020 and will now be registered with and licensed by the Veterinary Council of Nigeria. The initiative was structured as a two-pronged approach to create jobs for youths and simultaneously revive the rural animal healthcare system in the State. To promote sustainability of the activity, FAO is conducting the trainings in close partnership with the University of Maiduguri Veterinary Teaching Hospital and the Borno State Department of Veterinary Services, which will continue to supervise and mentor the CBAHWs.


“The availability and accessibility of an effective animal healthcare system is fundamental to building resilient livelihoods in rural regions like Borno, where many residents rely on livestock and poultry for income generation and food security,” Al Hassan Cisse, Head of FAO’s Northeast Sub-Office, stated. He pointed out that in the context of Borno, which has been impacted by a protracted humanitarian crisis, a community-based approach can lay the foundations for the gradual revival of disrupted social services including animal healthcare.


Talking about women in animal health care, It should be noted that they play critical roles in enhancing agricultural development, rural women are often constrained in their ability to acquire agricultural skills. In Borno, men dominate the field of veterinary medicine. Of the 39 veterinarians currently employed by the State Government, only three (about 8 percent) of them are females.


Of the 40 graduating CBAHWs trained by FAO, 20 percent are women. “The training has enlightened me on common zoonotic diseases and how to prevent their spread. I also learned that animal health and human health are sometimes connected,” Eunice Wakirwa, a female CBAHW said. She further revealed that she is very enthusiastic about her new career because she can now provide support to women pastoralists in her community who may not be in a position to interact freely with male veterinarians.

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