Paravets Teach Basic Vet Care to Rural Farmers
Healthier and Heavier Livestock that Command Higher Prices is the Result.
In the US, pet owners take it for granted they can go to a vet for vaccinations and other basic care. Many of these same pet owners may not know even more extensive and intensive vet care is delivered to animals raised for consumption. This care is essential to raising healthy animals that reach desired weight and command desired prices.
This vet care isn’t often available to family farmers in low-income countries. In rural villages across the world, family farmers raise livestock without vaccinations and other basic care. This results in early deaths, lower weights and lower incomes. It can even lead to diseases that are transferred from farm animals to humans.
In Kenya and Uganda, international development organization World Neighbors and its partners train community volunteers to help farmers learn about and deliver livestock vet care. “Paravets” receive 4 weeks of training on updated vaccination protocols, emerging diseases and outbreak preparedness, animal welfare and handling, diagnostic skills, record keeping, medication and dosage management, and ethical and legal considerations.
These trained volunteers then reach out to farmers associations, village leaders and others to organize farmer trainings. For many farmers, especially in remote villages, this is the first information they have ever received on veterinary care. Paravets also connect farmers with government and other bodies that can assist with vaccination and other needs.
Basic vet care is among the low hanging fruit that can quickly raise agricultural output and profit and increase food security in low-income countries.
This article originally appeared on FarmersReviewAfrica.com on October 18, 2023.