Khal Muhammed is a respected livestock owner, who lives in the Northwest Afghan province of Faryab. He is relatively well educated, and has a large herd of cashmere goats. Two years ago, Khal Muhammed was constantly plagued with worry about the health of his animals, seeing as his livelihood, like that of many others is largely dependent on the health of his animals. Thanks to ACTED's Basic Veterinary Worker Training Initiative, part of its expansive Sustained Rural Development Programme, funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy, this has now changed. Khal Muhammed he graduated from this training programme with one of the best grades.
A network of trained veterinarians
This initiative stemmed from the idea of having a network of trained veterinary workers throughout rural Faryab, acting as focal points for their communities. Each of the 125 new veterinary workers, including eight government staff, was trained on basic animal nutrition and fodder crops, animal anatomy and the identification and treatment of various common diseases. This new local network also acts as an early warning system for contagious diseases. Each veterinary worker is trained to identify the symptoms of the most contagious diseases (including the Plague, Hemorrhagic Septicemia, and Anthrax), and to alert the respective authorities for any suspected cases. Once an outbreak is declared, ACTED delivers vaccines to the surrounding communities, in coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MoAIL), helping to contain the outbreak to a few simple cases and to protect the livelihoods of these livestock owners.
According to the MoAIL, a decline in livestock mortality rates in the four target districts of Faryab has already been observed.
Khal Muhammed spoke of the success of this initiative saying that “We now know the proper way to ventilate a stable, how to de-worm our animals and castrate cattle. Not only do we see less animals dying in Faryab, but we are also seeing our own animal-based income increasing."