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By: Rahul Srivastava, Marketing Officer for South Asia at GALVmed and Dr. Samuel Adediran, Assistant Director for Global Access at GALVmed

GALVmed, in partnership with the African Technical Veterinary Association (ATVA), recently organised a Newcastle Disease awareness programme for association members. The programme was for those who may be interested in seizing business opportunities regarding backyard poultry vaccinations against Newcastle disease. This initiative directly reaches out to para-veterinarians and is expected to stimulate uptake of vaccination against Newcastle disease, which is the main killer for poultry.

The meeting, which was held 21 November 2014, sought to build further public partnerships through the involvement of local veterinary authorities. The training followed a series of sensitisation programmes held in Nakuru and Siaya counties on the business potential of vaccination against the Newcastle disease.

Animal health technicians fulfil important tasks in the animal health sector in Kenya and other parts of Africa as far as the provision of primary animal health care to resource poor livestock owners is concerned. In all counties of Kenya, AVTA members are active in providing animal health service in remote villages where such services are often not available.

During the meeting, Roggers Mosha, GALVmed’s Project Manager for the Newcastle disease discussed in detail the backyard poultry business potential focussing on Newcastle disease vaccination and deworming as examples. He shared further insights on managing vaccination campaigns to ensure sustainable income stream to vaccinators and Agrovet shop owners, in what he described as “a win-win formula”.  Special precautions to assure effective vaccination with thermo-tolerant vaccine were described in detail with some field examples. This kind of service to the large backyard chicken population may be explored as a lucrative source of additional income to the para-veterinarians and community health workers.

Rahul Srivastava, GALVmed’s Marketing Officer for South Asia, encouraged participants to tap into the unexplored business avenues in animal health at village level using inspiring rags-to-riches poultry experiences in India. According to Rahul, the bottom of the pyramid encompasses a large base of poultry keepers that has immense business potential to explore.

Mr. Benson Oduor, President of ATVA thanked GALVmed for their partnership and encouraged the para-veterinarians in Nyeri County to seize the opportunity of the training and demonstrate their capacity to provide such services in rural areas. He observed that this could be an eye opener for other counties and strengthen the relevance of the vet technicians.

It is expected that such kind of sensitisation programmes will result in significant awareness of the critical role the backyard poultry plays in the local economy.