Benefits of entrenching animal disaster management and livestock emergency guidelines standards (legs) courses into the veterinary curriculum: case study of the University of Nairobi, Kenya
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D isaste r - vulnerable communities are mostly those reliant on livestock. Disasters causing loss of livestock often leave a secondary legacy of economic instability, debt and dependency in addition to immediate devastation of food insecurity and loss of human life . It is prudent to build c apacity as a strategy to manage and m itigate these type of disasters . A 4 - year program for capacity building on animal disaster management was instituted at the faculty of veterinary medicine in University of Nairobi to evaluate its benefits . The program was evaluated through m onitoring and evaluation tools and a post - program knowledge, attitudes and practices survey . Stakeholders (270 students ) were i n terview ed during the program period and others (n=110) after the program period in the process of the review of the veterinary curriculum. A total of 184 students and 12 lecturers were trained on disaster management modules , 200 traine es on livestock emergency guideline standards (LEGS), and two lecturers as LEGS trainers. Over 60% of t h ose i nterviewed were aware the programs exist ed and o ver 70% indicated the program had benefits (n = 380 ) . Th e stakeholders significantly ( n= 270, P = 0.01 ; n=110, P = 0.02) indicated the need to entrench the disaster management and LEGS courses into the veterinary curriculum. A cost - benefit analysis of the veterinary response unit disaster intervention activity demonstrated generated benefits of $2.74 in the form of avoided animal losses for every $1 spent. If the time period was extended to 3 and 5 years , the benefit - cost ratio increase d to $6.69 and $ 9.21, respectively, in benefits for every $1 spent. The se results demonstrate there are benefi ts of entrench ing the courses into the veterinary curriculum and a recommend ation is made for th e inclusion of t he courses in all curricul a lacking the courses .