Delivery and Evaluation of Participatory Education for Animal Keepers Led by Veterinarians and Para-Veterinarians around the Kanha Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, India.

Andrew Hopker, Naveen Pandey, Aniruddha Dhamorikar, Sophie Hopker, Pradeep Gautam, Subash Pandey, Sharad Kumar, Narendra Rahangadale, Prakash Mehta, Rebecca Marsland, Neil Sargison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aim
We aim to investigate local perceptions of animal health challenges; current animal health knowledge; and methods to provide effective, relevant education to animal keepers in the Kanha Tiger Reserve area.
Materials and Methods
A farmer education programme was undertaken in the Kanha Tiger Reserve area. Local animal health priorities were investigated through participatory village meetings (n= 38), individual animal keeper questionnaires (n= 100) and a written survey of local paravets (n=16). Educational interventions were: veterinary surgeon led education meeting (VE); paravet led education meeting (PVE); distribution of printed materials (PM). 230 village meetings were carried out across 181 villages, contacting 3791 animal keepers. 20 villages received printed materials. Information was gathered on perceptions of local animal health challenges and current remedies. Efficacy of knowledge transfer was assessed four to five months later using a purposeful sample of 38 villages.
Results
Group meetings identified ticks (35/38), foot and mouth disease (FMD) (31/38) and diarrhoea (30/38) as the greatest animal health challenges. Individual interviews identified haemorrhagic septicaemia (HS) (87/100), blackquarter (BQ) (66/100) and plastic ingestion (31/100). Paravets identified FMD (7/16), BQ (6/16) and HS (6/16), and also indicated that animal husbandry and socio-economic factors were important. Current treatments were primarily home remedies and herbalism, but also included contacting a paravet, use of pharmaceuticals and faith healing. Animal treatment knowledge prior to intervention was not significantly different between groups (P= 0.868). Following intervention animal health knowledge was assessed: PVE performed better than controls (P= 0.001) and PM (P= 0.003); VE performed better than controls (P= 0.009). There was no significant difference between VE and PVE (P= 0.666) nor PM and controls (P= 0.060).
Conclusions and Recommendations
Open access participatory village meetings are an effective way to provide animal health education. In this region distribution of posters and leaflets did not appear to be an effective way to contact animal keepers. Meetings led by paravets can be as effective as those led by veterinarians and paravets can rapidly and sustainably contact large numbers of animal keepers. Investigation of the local animal health situation is essential to ensure education is relevant and accessible to intended recipients. Interventions must be carefully planned to maximise engagement of all sections of the community, particularly women.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0200999
Number of pages24
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume13
Issue number8
Early online date2 Aug 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Aug 2018

Keywords

  • Knowledge transfer
  • participatory education
  • Kanha Tiger Reserve (KTR)
  • rural India
  • paravet
  • Gau Sewek
  • perceived animal health challenge
  • ethno- veterinary medicine
  • train the trainer

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