In Cambodia in general and in the southern provinces bordering Vietnam in particular, smallholder farmers and community people are facing an increasing threat to animal health (high mortality and morbidity among the raised animals, particularly poultry); to human health (improper or heavy application of chemical inputs, issues of food safety and sanitation, etc.); and to the environmental health (indiscriminate littering, contaminated water sources, etc.). Since the year 2013, AVSF’s interventions have embraced the approach to ‘one health’ or ‘eco-health’, particularly from the perspective of veterinary public health.
One of the methodologies employed on the ground is working through village animal health workers (VAHWs) and their network – AVSF is a pioneer in that field, officially recognized by the royal government of Cambodia. Out of the 12,000 VAHWs in Cambodia, 2,700 have been (re)trained by AVSF projects in partnership with the relevant departments of the government. The ‘one health’ innovation makes endeavors to diffuse the ‘three health approach’ to men and women engaging in livestock farming, community people and schoolchildren. Target VAHWs, in particular, receive trainings on the proper administration of veterinary drugs and their proper disposals (with the erection of pits for medical waste), while livestock farmers are exposed to ‘Good Animal Husbandry Practices – GAHP’, amongst other things. We help train breeders to improve production and prevent disease contaminations. Target livestock farmers are also linked to different actors in the value chain and to a profitable market so as to improve their income.
The ‘one health’ action also has a positive impact on the health of men and women farmers as well as of schoolchildren as it ensures public awareness of health risks with the organization of community health day (CHD) – the day of extension for the community people on the the ‘one health’ nexus of the human, the animal and the environment. Topics covered by CHD include good animal farming practices, zoonosis (rabies and other disease infections), WAHS, proper (medical) waste management (with recycling bins distributed and incinerators built)…
This action has received funding support from AFD.