Donkeys in some rural parts of Kenya often fail to get medical attention owing to a lack of equine veterinary services and medicine, leaving most donkeys to work while enduring pain from body lesions and other medical complications. Along the road, one notices donkeys working with open wounds while others seem sickly, with donkey owners hoping for better health without seeking medical services because of the inaccessibility of donkey veterinary services.
To solve the problem, Brooke, in partnership with Kenya Network for Dissemination of Agricultural Technologies (KENDAT), joined forces with strategic agro-vets to serve donkey owners among the donkey-owning communities in remote areas.
Six agro-vets in Tharaka Nithi, Embu, and Laikipia counties received training through the continuous Agrovet Quality Monitoring (AQM) program, which equipped them with the necessary knowledge to provide quality animal health services and advise to donkey owners and users. The agro vets were equipped with relevant donkey drugs, saving users and owners the trouble of traveling long distances to get veterinary advise and services for their donkeys.
The project also made the identification of selected agro vets easier since they were branded with visible APS material for easy identification among donkey owners, including the agro vet’s name, KENDAT, and Brooke logos, alongside donkey welfare messages.
With the branding of agro vets, donkey owners now have easy access to vet services and advise on how to improve the welfare of their donkeys. The agro vets were equipped with learning materials on donkey husbandry practises such as ectoparasite control, hoof care, home-based wound care management, and disease prevention such as rabies and tetanus for distribution to donkey owners.
Until now, the project has seen an increase in the number of donkey owners seeking help from these agro vets, playing a critical role in ensuring sustainable veterinary service provision among donkey-owning communities.
A notable change in donkey welfare can now be seen in the area, with donkeys having less or no body lesions and looking healthy.