Experiences with community-based animal health workers.
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In Kenya the government halted the employment of veterinary surgeons and Animal Health Assistants (AHAs) in the year 1988. This lead to the privatization of veterinary services. As economics would have it, the private practitioner opted to practise in high-potential areas and primarily on food animals. The Department of Veterinary Services in Kenya resumed the recruitment of veterinarians in the year 2009 with the employment of 100 veterinarians and 200 AHAs, a drop in the ocean as more than 20% of the veterinarians were awarded administrative positions and the AHAs number still relatively few when compared with the vast needy areas. A clear disconnect was created between veterinary service provision and livestock, with the situation being worse for the 'non-food' animals. This paper describes the Donkey Health and Welfare Improvement Project (DHWIP), funded by the Donkey Sanctuary UK (DS-UK) and carried out through the Kenya Society for Protection and Care of Animals (KSPCA): it aims to deliver animal health service to working equines through Community-based Animal Health Workers (CBAHWs).