Livestock keepers in rural and tribal areas of Odisha, India are often unaware about deworming, vaccination and other health care concepts to protect their livestock from mortality. Livestock plays a vital role in livelihood security for these rural and tribal populations. Many government and non-governmental organisations are working towards livelihood improvement through livestock in Odisha. There are two major challenges – a lack of trained professionals working in the local animal health care services and limited availability of affordable products in tribal areas.
To address these challenges, the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVmed) has partnered with the western India-based Hester Biosciences Limited to develop and distribute customised livestock vaccines and health care products to rural areas of Odisha. To strengthen animal health care services with quality community animal health workers, GALVmed-Hester has collaborated with the Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN) and Pathe Pathsahala in Odisha.
Each partner plays a crucial role in increasing the distribution of animal health care products throughout Odisha. The availability of vaccines and animal health products is ensured by the establishment of an efficient supply chain and a dedicated sales team at the biotech company, Hester Biosciences Limited.
PRADAN, a voluntary organisation that works to promote and strengthen livelihoods for the rural poor, selects the community animal health workers, raises awareness of vaccination and improved management practices of backyard poultry and small ruminants, as well as vaccination and service delivery in five districts of Odisha (Koraput, Rayagada, Kalahandi, Kandhamal and Anugul).
Pathe Pathshala provides professional development training for the community animal health workers. The organisation conducts classes on a variety of farm and rural community skills for farmers, pastoralists, students and women, at their place, in their time and in their language to ease their daily toil.
Since June 2016, 106 community animal health workers (CAHW) have been trained – the majority, 99, who are women. Through this partnership, 21,994 backyard poultry have been vaccinated against Newcastle disease, 9,088 goats vaccinated against Peste des petits ruminants and 6,333 goats vaccinated against Goat Pox in rural parts of Odisha. This initial development indicates an exciting future for this project, its partners and above all, the farmers and CAHW who increase their quality of life.