Abdi Awoina is a great example of how a little knowledge can go a long way – especially in helping local herders to keep the animals on which they depend, healthy.
Oxfam helped Abdi train to become a Community Animal Health Worker in the Harshin area of Ethiopia. And it's an investment that is proving its worth. "Before some of us were trained people carried out their own diagnosis and went to the animal pharmacy. They just guessed the disease and brought the medicine. Often they got it wrong, and would inject the animals incorrectly."
This could be particularly disastrous because many herders' animals were already in a relatively poor condition due to a lack of decent grazing in the region because of ongoing drought. It meant that even otherwise minor ailments or infections could be deadly. "A lot of the animals get ticks, if they get covered in them in a weakened state they could die. We used to think that you could knock them off and they would die but we learnt during training that they can survive for two years in the ground…and so now we treat the animals so the ticks die."
Now, thanks to Abdi's specialist knowledge, herders' goats, cows and donkeys get the right medicines to keep them and their owners happy.