Heshimu Punda works to improve the welfare of working donkeys through provision of veterinary services to the needy donkeys within the seven counties where she works. HP offers limited veterinary services through treatment of emergency and complicated cases.
For sustainable service delivery system, HP trains and supports local animal Health service providers (LAHPs) with the necessary drugs and equipment to improve the accessibility and the quality of services they offer. In addition, they are linked to donkey owners and users through various HP organized joint activities such as treatment camps and clinics as well as emergency, complicated cases and referrals. HP works in collaboration of the respective government veterinary departments and building their capacity to adequately supervise and monitor the quality of service provision by the LAHPs within their areas of jurisdiction.
HP provides emergency treatment to needy donkeys, closely monitors provision of services and welfare situation of donkeys to ensure that suffering donkeys are attended to promptly and in a welfare friendly manner.
LAHP’s are trained, and equipped with knowledge and skills to provide quality veterinary services. They are supported and work with the HP team through case referrals and joint treatments. With training and support of more LSPs, quality service is be accessible to owners translating to better and faster response to donkeys in need, and thus improved recovery rates and reduction of donkey suffering from wounds, ecto/endoparasitism, hoof overgrowths, and other welfare related issues.
Owners/users are also equipped with necessary knowledge and skills to handle and control their donkeys in a welfare friendly manner thus decreasing stress and fear in donkeys. They are also able to identify diseases/conditions in good time and take appropriate actions (seek treatment, provide first aid and home care) as well as prevent future occurrence. This reduces occurrence of diseases in donkeys and improve the recovery rates.
Some Key Stakeholders
- Government vet officers: Government vets are mandated to license and supervise veterinary service providers. HP works with government vets on donkey welfare to build their capacity to supervise veterinary services offered to donkeys and monitor LSPs so as to ensure that quality services are offered to donkeys at all times and no malpractices occur. The Veterinary Department coordinates and supervises provision of vet services in the country under the authority the County Directors of Veterinary Services. Government vets are sensitized and engaged in activities aimed at strengthening service provision and enhancing their role in monitoring, supervision and support of trained AHAs and Farriers.
- Private AHAs: AHAs are private Animal Health Assistants (AHAs) who are operating their own practices and are resident within their operating areas. HP targets to conduct training for a total of 90 AHAs within the seven counties, to help build their capacity so that they are able to provide services to needy donkeys. The 90 AHAs are at different levels of capacity in service provision depending on their areas of operation some are in year two and others three at the roadmap training. The very qualified LSPs (who have been in the project longest i.e.3 years) will not require formal trainings but mentorship sessions to improve their levels of competence.
- Farriers: There are two categories of trained farriers comprised of community farriers (who are majority) and AHAs trained on farriery. KENDAT HP targets to work with 39 Farriers in Kiambu, Nairobi, Kirinyaga (Mwea) and Meru (Igembe/Tigania) where farriery project will be implemented
- Research and training institutions (including University of Nairobi, and Animal Health and Industrial Training Institutes – AHITIs): HP provides guest lectures and field practice opportunities for students seeking attachments in order to improve knowledge and skills on welfare of working equids. Institutions of higher learning normally require students who have been trained to undergo exposure and practical orientation to further develop their skills. In this case trained vets and AHAs get an opportunity to interact with HP team, learn welfare friendly handling of donkeys and discuss donkey treatments
- Diagnostic institutions including government vet labs: HP utilizes the lab facilities for confirmation of diagnoses to aid in better service delivery
Project Monitoring and Evaluation
The project is monitored through:-
- Analysis of clinical records, carried out quarterly to determine disease/condition trends, recovery rates, and effectiveness of strategies.
- Vet service audit conducted biannually to assess quality of services provided and to identify further training support required to improve service delivery
- Welfare assessment conducted annually to assess general welfare of donkeys and determine changes in trends of key welfare parameters.
- LSP market assessments conducted annually to gauge the number/percentage of owners/ users utilizing LSPs services.
- Review of risk levels/categorization using WA, clinical analysis and various service audits carried out annually to determine changes in risk levels for working donkeys in specific areas of operation.