An effective and close cooperation between both the public and private sector is key to achieving an efficient and sustainable national animal health network. Private fee-for-service animal health care provided by the VFUs comprises the day-to-day veterinary services for local livestock owners. These services include diagnosis and treatment of animal diseases, vaccination to prevent contagious diseases, and advice on animal health and production. Public tasks by the Afghan government, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), focus on disease surveillance and control, regulation of importation, quality control of vaccines and medicines, and policy making. This system of a public-private animal health care and production service is still in development. DCA is actively working together with MAIL and other stakeholders to create the conditions for a well-functioning public-private partnership.
A common strategy
Several donors, like the European Union and World Bank, are also involved in developing this common strategy for animal health care delivery. In addition, various donors presently designate the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock to manage the implementation of their animal health and production projects. This is a very important step towards more responsibility by the Afghan government, and a more centralised coordination of the livestock projects.
Sanitary Mandate Contracting Scheme
DCA provides government staff refresher trainings for capacity building, and engages with public sector in policy dialogue. However, the most important tool to create an effective partnership is the Sanitary Mandate Contracting Scheme. Under this scheme, VFU staff contracted by the government to participate in government campaigns on disease surveillance and control. To optimize this process, DCA trains and supports the participating VFU staff in surveillance and control methods.
Livestock sector development
In 2016, MAIL, FAO and DCA together organised the first National Conference on Livestock Sector Development. This conference was held in Kabul from 14 to 16 February. Building on the results of this conference, DCA also contributes to the development of the 5-year Strategic Plan for Livestock Sector Development in Afghanistan. This will give a major impulse to DCA’s partnership with the government and all relevant stakeholders.