FROM THE FIELD
Linking Community Animal Health Workers
FAO’s Emergency and Rehabilitation Coordination Unit has started to establish a network of Community Animal Health Workers (CAHWs - pronounced ‘cows’) across Sudan. The aim is to strengthen CAHWs’ follow-up training and performance, enhance any existing informal knowledge and information sharing and minimize dropout rates. The end benefit of the new network will be a durable improvement of community animal health services.
The project has started in North Darfur in partnership with the State Ministry of Animal Resources and will extend to other states. So far, the SMoAR has established a CAHW Office within the El Fashir Veterinary Department and a state assessment has identified 214 active CAHWs trained by FAO and NGOs such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, Relief International, COOPI and Practical Action in collaboration with the State Ministry of Animal Resources.
CAHWs are predominantly livestock owners themselves, so an active CAHWs network will be able to source and share vital field information on all aspects of the livestock sector, which will be particularly useful for remote or hard-to-reach locations. CAHWs will also be able to support each other via the network, such as pooling together to purchase larger amounts of quality veterinary drugs more cheaply or more reliably.
A workshop will be held in El Fashir in December to discuss a range of issues including regulating the CAHWs, improving their communication and increasing their capacity to provide a broader range of animal health services.