Keeping Healthy and Productive Chickens 

A training video series for small-scale chicken farmers in Kenya

As part of the ‘Pilot of Master Trainer courses in Africa to improve Newcastle disease control in village chickens’ project Kyeema has been working with Kenyan NGO VETAID in Narok county to support local animal health champions like veterinarian, Dr Coletto Cherono. The project aims to provide quality Newcastle disease (ND) control training to build African Union Member States’ capacity, through an increase in effective and efficient ND control personnel operating in the project countries of Ethiopia, Mozambique and Kenya.

The project is training, equipping and supporting animal health workers at varying levels:

  • Master Trainers, experts at country level who will drive best practice and act as mentors;
  • University students and newly graduated veterinarians like Dr Cherono, who are the next generation of sustainable animal health leaders, sharing their knowledge for better health and wealth outcomes for farmers; and
  • Community poultry health workers, who are farmers themselves, and when trained can be supported to be significant leaders in their community and help improve their own and other livelihoods through implementing ND vaccination campaigns.

One outcome of the project is to develop accessible e-learning materials in different learning modalities. The activity in Kenya has involved Dr Cherono, with mentorship from VETAID Country Director Dr Gabriel Turasha, working with 36 poultry farmers in Narok to improve their knowledge on the importance of Newcastle disease and other poultry production limiting diseases. 1170 chicks were distributed to 60 families and incubator and cold chain facilities were set up for supporting poultry vaccination campaigns in the area. Dr Cherono trained 12 community poultry health workers (CPHW) to conduct regular vaccination campaigns and across the several campaigns which recorded vaccinating over 12,000 chickens against Newcastle disease and Fowl typhoid. After consultation with farmers and CPHW about their information needs and favoured learning modality, Dr Cherono also produced of a small video training series on ‘Keeping Healthy and Productive Chickens’ shot and shareable on a smartphone for field use.

Vet Aid

Dr Cherono (left in white jacket) preparing a demonstration on how to vaccinate chickens with local Narok poultry farmers. Photo credit: Dr Gabriel Turasha, VETAID.

The video series is in Kiswahili with English subtitles and each of the 5 videos produced are available to share from our Learning Hub – Field Use resources.

Topics Include

  • The importance of healthy chickens and the problem of Newcastle disease (featured here).
  • How Newcastle disease spreads.
  • Preventing Newcastle disease.
  • What to do in a Newcastle disease outbreak.
  • Health chickens, healthy people – a One Health message for poultry farming families.

Kyeema would like to congratulate Dr Cherono and VETAID for this innovative pilot activity.

Further topics in consideration for development are ‘How to run a Newcastle disease vaccination campaign for profit’ and Newcastle disease vaccine storage, handling and administration’ featuring key principles from our Cold Chain Manual for Veterinary Vaccines. The team is particularly interested in featuring locally made vaccines by Kenya Veterinary Vaccines Production Institute (KEVIVAPI).

If you or your organisation are interested in using these videos for communities in Kenya or Tanzania, or would like more information about the Cold Chain Manual for Veterinary Vaccines (in English or French), please contact us.

AUS logo

In the 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23 years, this activity was supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). We are grateful to have had funds to support this locally driven activity with a local One Health focused partner working with communities at the forefront of the human-wildlife-livestock interface.