Improving animal production in the Upper East: 28 community animal health workers undergo training

A 10-day intensive training workshop was held for Community Animal Health Workers (CAHWs) as part of efforts to improve animal production in the Upper East region.

The training was part of a project called “Volunteers Engaged in Gender Responsive Technical Solutions” (VETS), implemented by Veterinarians Without Borders, Canada, supported by Global Affairs, Canada, with the Ghana Poultry Network (GAPNET) as the local partner. .

Participants came from 13 selected villages in Kassena Nankana West District and Kassena Nankana East Municipality.

The villages are Yua, Sirigu, Natugnia, Manyoro, Kandiga and Mirigu, Nabango, Doba, Kowngnia, Nayangnia, Kologo, Nyariga and Dachio.

At the end of the training, called a telehealth project, each participant was given a mobile phone on which the Food and Agriculture Organization’s event mobile application (EMA-I) was installed to improve the delivery of animal health care in the various communities.

In addition, vaccine vials, transport bags and other tools and equipment necessary to help them carry out their duties were given to them, as well as a certificate of participation.

Improving Livestock

Speaking at the end of the training last Thursday, the project’s national coordinator, Gloria Essel, said improving animal production through good livestock management and the provision of health care was key. food nutrition, poverty reduction and rural development.

She said, “The purpose of CAHW training is to support interventions to increase animal production in communities. You have been taught the best management you must apply to achieve the overriding objective. »

“You are now the foot soldiers of your communities with a mandate to help increase animal production in your localities and in the region as a whole,” she said.

She added that “only when animal production increases in our communities will the overall goal of implementing agencies and sponsors be achieved.”

Tools and equipment

Ms. Essel said that one of the tools acquired as an innovative method of improving animal production was the training and installation of the EMA-I application on mobile phones to help participants in their work.

“As trained animal health workers using the EMA-I, you should report any early disease situation in your community to the veterinarian to trigger a rapid disease control response to prevent it from spreading and spreading. kill many animals,” she told attendees.

She said GAPNET, as a local partner, would institute a mechanism to track how the tool was used at the community level for disease reporting, and that GAPNET would institute an annual award for the best community animal health worker. who has consistently helped prevent the spread of disease through early reporting.

Stating that GAPNET was the first NGO to use the FAO EMA-I application in the delivery of animal health services, she said that “therefore it is imperative that the organization ensure that trained animal health workers effectively use the tool for the benefit of farmers”.

The country team leader of the Emergency Center for Transboundary Animal Diseases, FAO, Dr Garba Maina Ahmed, said that the active involvement of local communities in reporting animal diseases would help reduce the animal mortality rate. .

He said “early reporting of disease is key to controlling diseases that affect livestock in communities.”

He added, “I wish to urge beneficiary participants to use the knowledge gained to ensure the success of the project.”

He further commended GAPNET for the innovation in combating diseases that affect livestock and pledged FAO’s unwavering support for the success of the project.

Insufficient staff

Upper East Regional Director of Agriculture Francis Ennor said the Department of Food and Agriculture did not have enough staff to deal with herders and that the training of conservation officers animal health at the community level would increase the area’s veterinary officers.

He said that “over the years much attention had been paid to crops at the expense of livestock, which had had a negative impact on animal production”, and that “it was time for the people of Upper East are taking full advantage of the availability of livestock to reap its rewards.” full benefit. »

He advised herders to take care of their animals and monitor them carefully so that early signs of disease can be easily spotted so that they receive the attention they need to survive.

The Paramount Chief of Sirigu Traditional Area, Naba Atogumdeya Roland Akwara III, who chaired the event, instructed the participants to carry out their responsibilities necessary to achieve the intended purpose of the project.

He urged the leaders of beneficiary communities to ensure that animal workers in these areas work as expected.

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