Success for the Animal Health Development Programme II in Afghanistan

Landell Mills is pleased to report on excellent results delivered by the Animal Health Development Programme II (AHDP II), funded by the EU Delegation to Afghanistan.

Building on the initial achievements of the Animal Health Development Programme (AHDP I), which Landell Mills also managed, AHDP II has worked to strengthen the Directorate of Animal Health (DAH), as well as the livestock sector generally. This has had a positive impact on those whose livelihoods depend on the livestock sector.

Staff doing routine lab testing of samples at Central Veterinary Diagnostic and Research Laboratory. Photo: Willy Schauwers

Staff doing routine lab testing of samples at Central Veterinary Diagnostic and Research Laboratory. Photo: Willy Schauwers

Under Landell Mills’ implementation, AHDP II has had some great successes in strengthening the capacity of the government to provide public veterinary services. Key achievements include:

  • Growth of the national veterinary laboratory network from one small central lab and one regional lab, into today’s network of laboratories, based in 21 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.
  • Development of one fully functioning central veterinary laboratory, six regional and 15 provincial laboratories.
  • An increase in the volume of tests performed at the Central Veterinary Diagnostic and Research Laboratory from 486 samples and 840 tests in 2008, to 6,996 samples and 17,482 tests in 2015.
  • Expansion of the delivery of animal health service provision and monitoring from 14 to 34 provinces.

As a result of AHDP II’s support, the DAH now has stronger departments that provide the following:

  • Disease surveillance and control programmes
  • Epidemiologic analysis of disease incidence and prevalence
  • Diagnostic laboratory support
  • Licensing and regulation of private sector veterinary services
  • Production of Afghanistan’s own animal vaccines
  • Veterinary public health services to ensure safe products of animal origin
Lab testing training at Central Veterinary Diagnostic and Research Laboratory. Photo: Willy Schauwers

Lab testing training at Central Veterinary Diagnostic and Research Laboratory. Photo: Willy Schauwers

AHDP’s achievements, spanning almost ten years, have demonstrated that long term commitment, vision, and planning play a vital role in strengthening government functions, particularly when it comes to rebuilding a country and sector devastated by decades of war.

It is a testament to the project that local farmers were able to convince the Taliban to leave a new regional veterinary laboratory in tact when the city of Kunduz fell briefly under the Taliban’s control in September 2015. The farmers stressed its importance for their livelihoods and the laboratory remained untouched and resumed its activities. 

The Director General of the World Organisation for Animal Health has remarked that the Sanitary Mandate Control Scheme, a creative public-private partnership launched under the Animal Health and Development Project, is an enviable model for other countries to consider, and the initiative is recognised for its merit far beyond the borders of Afghanistan.