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Improving animal health delivery service in Sierra Leone…

February 6, 2018 

food

FAO gives refresher training to 60 Community Animal Health Workers

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS), on Monday, 29 January, 2018, trained sixty Community Animal Health Workers (CAHWs), to provide support to improve the country’s animal health service delivery.

The 60 CAHWs underwent twenty-three sessions on animal health management, using the recently revised CAHWs training manual based on the One Health approach. The two weeks training took place at the Garden State Complex in Makeni, Bombali District. The objective of the training was to protect the assets of livestock keepers by improving the animal health service delivery through community based animal health services and overall wellbeing of the communities for better preparedness to address health related hazards.

The training was supported by the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) “Supporting the Global Health Security Agenda to address Zoonotic Disease and Animal Health in Africa” project.

The Country Team Leader for the Emergency Center for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD), Tesfai Tseggai informed the CAHWs, during the graduation, on the importance of being able to recognize and treat diseases in animals, and prevent spread of pathogens.

“Over 60 percent of the diseases that affect humans originate in animals, which is why the health of the animal is very important”, Tseggai noted. He congratulated the CAHWs and admonished them on the importance of working together in the spirit of One Health.

The Deputy Director of Livestock and Veterinary Services in MAFFS, Dr. Amadu Tejan Jalloh thanked FAO for working with the Ministry to improve the country’s livestock sector.

Dr. Jalloh lamented on the reduction of staff in the Livestock Division of MAFFS, especially trained and qualified veterinarians. “The CAHWs will contribute towards improving the efficiency of the livestock services within the districts”, he noted.

One of the trained CAHWs, Mary Allieu, expressed gratitude to FAO for improving their abilities to provide animal health delivery services in their communities. She recounted that, in the past, most of the people in their communities did not trust them to treat their sick animals because they did not have any proof to show that they were qualified to deliver animal health services.  “Through this training, we expect to build confidence within our respective communities”, she stated.

The trained CAHWs were taken through various sessions, including the Roles and responsibilities of CAHWs, Conflict resolution, Animal production, Animal health, Handling and use of Veterinary drugs, Sample collection, Record keeping and reporting, and on One Health Approach.

This cohort of graduates increases the number of CAHWS to 120 that have been re-trained under the FAO-ECTAD project of the Global Health Security Agenda programme to work in the districts of the country. They are expected to be essential in diseases detection, reporting, livestock vaccination and treatment, especially on priority zoonotic diseases (PZD) identified by the country.