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Product title :

Links between non-professional agents and the official Veterinary Services in sub-Saharan Africa

Author(s) : B.A. Diop & R. Bessin

Summary :

Para-professional agents known as auxiliaries, or community animal health workers, provide low-cost basic veterinary services to communities of livestock producers. A 2003 survey of 16 Sub-Saharan African countries, carried out as part of the Pan-African Programme for the Control of Epizootics, showed that in the majority of cases, the official Veterinary Services have no (or very few) links with the auxiliaries, although they are well aware of their existence and in some cases the auxiliaries have been trained by officials of the Veterinary Services. However, there are isolated cases of countries establishing more formal links, for example, recognising the status of an auxiliary, recognising auxiliaries with no definition of a status, attaching auxiliaries to Veterinary Service staff, establishing agreements for the provision of auxiliary services through livestock producer associations, harmonising auxiliary training programmes, issuing professional auxiliary cards, and setting up a consultation framework on the issue of auxiliaries. Unlike private veterinarians, agents of the official services do not generally perceive auxiliaries as competitors, and sometimes collaboration develops at this level. The authors propose several measures to improve links between the official Veterinary Services and auxiliaries.

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