During the years, DCA has become the leading organisation in applied veterinary training in Afghanistan. DCA trains Paravets and Basic Veterinary Workers (BVWs) to provide animal health and production services to livestock farmers in their communities. For ongoing capacity building, DCA also offers refresher courses to paravets and other animal health workers.
The curriculum of each course consists of a balanced mixture of practical and theoretical training components. The language of the courses is Dari or Pashtu.
The DCA training approach is:
- problem oriented, and
Experienced Afghan trainers deliver the training courses. In their lessons, they use state of the art (audio-visual) aids and training materials.
DCA trains VFU staff, for its own projects as well as for other NGOs, government veterinarians, and students of agricultural schools.
Currently, DCA organises five main categories of training courses:
- Paravet course
A 24-week course that trains students in the diagnosis and treatment of frequently occurring animal diseases and disorders in Afghanistan.
- BVW course
A 4-week course, teaching students to vaccinate animals and to provide the most important basic veterinary care.
- Refresher course
2-weeks or 1-week course on specific subjects. Topics are e.g. artificial insemination, nutrition, and laboratory skills.
- Extension course
1-week course on how to translate professional knowledge to easily understandable messages to the farmers.
- Sanitary Mandate course
1-week course, preparing VFU staff to take part in disease surveillance and control campaigns organised by the Afghan government.
Veterinary training centres
DCA operates four veterinary training and support centres. These are in Kabul – Charikar, Herat, Mazar-i-Sharif, and since 2014 also in Kandahar. Training centre facilities include class rooms, a dormitory, a laboratory, and a veterinary library. The centres are well-equipped for theoretical as well as practical lessons. Veterinary equipment and microscopes are present, as well as animal skeletons and models, and a range of audio visual aids. In Charikar, a farm and a chicken hatchery are in operation for practical training on live animals. As most of the trainees are coming from far distances, several bedrooms and lodging facilities are available. During their stay, the students are provided full board and lodging.