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Title: Contributions of village animal health workers to foot-and-mouth disease control in Cambodia
Contributor(s): Sieng, Socheat (author); Patrick, Ian Walter (author); Windsor, Peter Andrew (author); Walkden-Brown, Stephen William  (author)orcid ; Kerr, James (author); Sen, Sovann (author); Sar, Chetra (author); Smith, Robert Geoffrey Beaumount (author); Kong, Reatrey (author)
Publication Date: 2022-06
DOI: 10.1111/tbed.14317
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Local animal health services in rural communities in Cambodia are mainly provided by village animal health workers (VAHWs), although the participation and contribution of VAHWs to livestock disease prevention are uncertain. The participation of the VAHWs as identified by their ‘dropout rate’ was examined in a desktop review in December 2020 of the national data on VAHWs recorded between 2011 and 2020. The contribution and involvement of VAHWs in disease prevention programmes were examined in a survey conducted between February and March 2014, then analyzed in the context of other surveys of VAHW knowledge, attitudes and practices. The survey involved guided group discussion with VAHWs (n = 198) from the two Cambodian provinces of Kampong Cham and Pursat. This study identified that VAHWs generated less than 22% of their annual household incomes from animal health services. Less than one-third had vaccinated livestock against foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), with none having vaccinated cattle every 6 months during the study period, and nearly half of the VAHWs having never vaccinated their own cattle against FMD. As no privately provided FMD vaccination services occurred in these communities, with all vaccines delivered through the government-subsidized programme, the findings confirmed that VAHWs only vaccinated animals against FMD when vaccines were made available by the Government. The desktop review found that the number of VAHWs in 2020 declined by more than 24% since 2017, and the proportion of female VAHWs was consistently low, with a mean of 8.26 (±1.019). These findings confirm findings from previous studies that identified considerable weaknesses in the VAHW system in Cambodia, particularly in contributing to FMD control. Cambodian animal health authorities require more effective policies to strengthen the current VAHW system, improving their services delivery; their retention as ‘active’; their development of more sustainable roles with lower ‘dropout’ rates and the prolonged gender inequity. With the limited availability of government-subsidized FMD vaccination currently, extension programmes that engage VAHWs and farmers in seeking privately funded and delivered FMD vaccination that incorporates appropriate multivalent FMD serotype vaccines of high quality, delivered in small dose vials from a robust cold chain, is suggested. This strategy would assist VAHWs to contribute to the provision of private livestock vaccination services that are likely essential for sustainable FMD prevention and control in Cambodia.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, 69(4), p. e406-e422
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Verlag GmbH
Place of Publication: Germany
ISSN: 1865-1682
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 3009 Veterinary sciences
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: TBD
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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