Paravet Work in Senegal and South Sudan

The Paravet Programme of Loumboul Samba Abdoul, Senegal

The primary problem in pastoral production is animal health. Oxfam's Paravet programme in Loumboul Samba Abdoul developed on the people's understanding that disease prevention is cheaper than cures. The programme's originality lies largely in the fact that the herders themselves define what action to take and who to recruit.

Under the direction of N'diawar Dieye twelve young men in the Ferlo region of Senegal were trained to vaccinate and treat animals affected by sleeping sickness, parasites, skin diseases, colic and injuries. Each paravet is given a box containing vaccines and medicines. The money from the sale of these medicines goes to form a revolving fund allowing the program to renew stocks of medicine and equipment. A literacy programme in the local language has been set up to give them the means to monitor the vaccinations and treatment which they give.

Supervision of the programme is carried out on several levels. A technical supervisor visits each village twice a month, the departmental inspector visits every other month, and the regional inspector visits every six months. In this way the progress of the programme is monitored.

Although it is too early to evaluate, critically, the project seems to be successfull. In the past five months fifteen villages have approached Oxfam for help establishing similar programmes. The future seems promising for paravet programmes.

Meanwhile, a veterinary service program In the Terekeka district of south Sudan has been initiated to reconstruct the livestock population. A survay of the rural Mundari conducted by Oxfam in 1985 revealed that veterinary services were the most demanded. The Oxfam consultant recommended that a community based animal health paravet programme be initiated, and that the programme be executed by the Mundari themselves.

The paravets were chosen with the help of a paramount chief who had worked as a Veterinary Assistant, and therefore had considerable experience and knowledge of the area and the people. He also explained to the chiefs, sub-chiefs and people how the program was to operate and benefit them.

A training period of 4-5 weeks covered basic animal health and husbandry principles, and was followed by two weeks of practical supervision in the field.

Paravets were taught the normal signs of a healthy animal, followed by the signs and symptoms of the common diseases in the area. They were also taught the suitable routs of drug administration and dosage rates, as well as the appropriate use of vaccines and drugs.

Some of the equipment they have found necessary includes: plastic syringes, various gage needles, automatic vaccinators, drenching guns, castor oil (lubricant), fridges or deep freezers (kerosine or solar operated), wooden box, vehicles, head office, and a professional supervisor.

For more information contact:

N'diawar Dieye
B.P.7, Matam
Rˇgion de St. Louis

Sam Gaonda
P.O. Box 3182
Khartoum, Sudan

Veterinarians "sans frontieres"

The veterinarians, engineers, agronomists and technicians of the NGO Veterinaires sans frontieres, work directly with livestock herders and rural communities to help save threatened herds. As part of their field activities, they deal with both emergencies and the daily activities required for development. Surveys of the needs of local people determine their programs which are implemented in conjunction with livestock services and other development agencies.

The resulting activities always include training programmes for the herders in order to ensure the long term impact of such projects and their adoption by those concerned. Veterinaires sans frontieres works primarily in regions that do not benefit from other sources of support. In the Sahel, these efforts are designed to help ensure the future of extensive grazing. In agricultural areas, activities are focused on the use of draught animals for ploughing fields or pumping water.

Large animals, small ruminants and poultry are all treated by this NGO which has already undertaken more than 30 missions since it was established in 1984. Other initiatives of this type are now being taken in different European countries (Notably the United Kingdom and the Netherlands) and work is under way to establish some form of coordination between them.

For more details, contact:

Veterinaires sans frontieres
12 rue Mulet
690021 Lyon