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Contributions of village animal health workers to foot-and-mouth disease control in Cambodia
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  • Socheat Sieng,
  • Ian Patrick,
  • P.A. Windsor,
  • Stephen Walkden-Brown,
  • James Kerr,
  • Sovann Sen,
  • C. Sar,
  • Robert Smith,
  • Reatrey Kong
Socheat Sieng
General Directorate of Animal Health and Production Phnom Penh Cambodia
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Ian Patrick
University of Liverpool
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P.A. Windsor
The University of Sydney School of Veterinary Science
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Stephen Walkden-Brown
University of New England School of Environmental and Rural Science
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James Kerr
Hunter Local Land Services Paterson NSW Australia
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Sovann Sen
Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries Phnom Penh Cambodia
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C. Sar
Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries Phnom Penh Cambodia
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Robert Smith
Southern Cross University School of Environment Science and Engineering
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Reatrey Kong
Independent Livestock consultant Pursat Cambodia
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Abstract

Local animal health services in rural communities are mainly provided by village animal health workers (VAHW), although the participation and contribution of VAWHs to disease prevention is uncertain. To address this, a desktop review of national VAWH data between 2011 - 2020 also conducted in December 2020, supporting a detailed survey on the involvement of VAHWs in disease prevention programs conducted between February to March 2014. The survey used guided group discussion with VAHWs (n = 198) from the two Cambodian provinces of Kampong Cham and Pursat. This study identified that VAHWs generated less than 22% of their annual household incomes from animal health services. Less than one-third had vaccinated livestock against FMD, with none having vaccinated cattle every six months during the study period, and nearly half of the VAHWs having never vaccinated their own cattle against FMD. As no privately-provided FMD vaccination services occurred in these communities, with all vaccines delivered through the government-subsidised program, the findings confirmed that VAHWs only vaccinated animals against FMD when vaccines were made available by the Government. The desktop review found that the number of VAHWs in 2020 declined by more than 24% since 2017 and the proportion of female VAHWs was consistently low, with a mean of 8.26 (± 1.019). These findings confirm there are considerable weaknesses in the VAHW system in Cambodia, particularly in contributing to FMD control. Cambodian animal health authorities require more effective policies to strengthen the current VAHW system, improving: their services delivery; their retention as ‘active’; their development of more sustainable roles with lower ‘dropout’ rates; and the prolonged gender inequity. With the limited availability of government-subsidised FMD vaccination currently, extension programs that engage VAHWs and farmers in seeking privately funded and delivered FMD vaccination that incorporates appropriate multivalent FMD serotype vaccines of high quality, delivered in small dose vials from a robust cold chain, is suggested. This strategy would assist VAHWs to contribute to the provision of private livestock vaccination services that are likely essential for sustainable FMD prevention and control in Cambodia.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

06 May 2021Submitted to Transboundary and Emerging Diseases
06 May 2021Submission Checks Completed
06 May 2021Assigned to Editor
12 May 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
11 Jun 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
15 Jun 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Major
29 Jun 20211st Revision Received
29 Jun 2021Assigned to Editor
29 Jun 2021Submission Checks Completed
13 Jul 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
01 Aug 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
04 Aug 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Major
26 Aug 20212nd Revision Received
26 Aug 2021Assigned to Editor
26 Aug 2021Submission Checks Completed
05 Sep 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
05 Sep 2021Editorial Decision: Accept