Transforming the Vaccine Delivery System for Chickens and Goats in Northern Ghana
In Ghana, the livestock sector is threatened with multiple setbacks which limit smallholder farmers’ ability to expand the sector potentials. “Between 2006 and 2007, Ghana witnessed an avian flu outbreak that threatened its poultry industry. The economic losses were significant, especially because livestock farming, and agriculture generally, employ 52% of the population. The outbreak led to the death of over 40,000 poultry birds and the destruction of infected eggs. It also affected the prices of poultry products and market activities for poultry feeds. Overall, the outbreak cost the country at least $26.3 million and almost wiped 99.88% of Ghana’s poultry stock.” This is how a single outbreak can adversely affect livestock farmers in Ghana.
Particularly, the Vaccine delivery system in Ghana is faced with a myriad of challenges. However, for women, there is an added layer of gender disparity which further hampers their access to vaccines. Female smallholder farmers face several technical, social and economic challenges when it comes to vaccine delivery.
Transforming the Vaccine Delivery System Project seeks to empower women, smallholder farmers and entrepreneurs, by addressing the various social, technical, cultural and economic barriers these women face in vaccine development, delivery and use. This project would benefit female smallholder farmers from the Bawku West and Pusiga Districts in the region and spans from March 2019 to March 2022. The project not only seeks to bridge the gender gap in accessing quality vaccines but to also transform the vaccine value chain. This will be done along with the following key objectives:
- To identify, test and monitor two approaches — one gender accommodative and one gender-transformative — to develop the vaccine delivery system for ND-chicken and PPR/CCPP-goats in selected districts of Ghana.
- To create knowledge on institutional requirements for a vaccine delivery system that is responsive to the needs of both women animal health service providers and women farmers.
- To identify women capabilities needing support and gender norms that need addressing for all animal health service providers and women farmers to benefit from an improved vaccine delivery system.
Cowtribe is implementing this project in partnership with CARE International (an organization dedicated to saving lives and ending poverty with women’s right at the centre of their movement) and the International Livestock Research Institute.
Cowtribe is key in providing a digitized vaccine delivery system for these female livestock farmers. To ensure that this system is truly transformational for these women, we apply a participatory approach by involving them in the process. Through interviews with these livestock farmers as well as other key stakeholders in the vaccine delivery system such as Veterinary Agents and Field Technicians, we ensured that our digital platform truly bridged the gap in women accessing the vaccines they needed.
At Cowtribe, we are always on the lookout to ensure that our services are not gendered biased. As such, we are always looking for ways to ensure all our farmers, regardless of gender, get equal access to the veterinary services they need.
As we move forward on this journey, we anticipate that this project further not only improves the lives of female livestock farmers in the Upper West Region but in Ghana as a whole.