The Ethiopian National Veterinary Institute, with the support of partners, has developed three training manuals on infectious bursal disease, marek’s disease, newcastle disease; for training veterinarians and agricultural outreach officers.
In Ethiopia, as in the rest of Africa, chicken production is integral to the livelihoods of smallholder rural households. Poultry production is a source of income and, through eggs and meat, a source of protein. However, this invaluable asset is under constant threat from poultry diseases that can wipe out whole flocks.
Poultry diseases can wreak havoc on chicken production, be it on smallholder or commercial farms. It can inflict heavy losses in the form of, among others, retarded growth, reduced weight gain, decreased egg productivity, delayed maturity, morbidity and mortality. In Ethiopia, among the infectious diseases, Newcastle disease, salmonellosis, coccidiosis and fowl pox are considered the most important causes of mortality in local chicken. Therefore, the prevention and control of these diseases is paramount for successful poultry production.
Preventing disease and illness is economically efficient, in the long run, as it minimizes treatment costs, recovery time and the possibility of mortality. But prevention is not always successful and often requires providing treatment to entire flocks. Additionally, successful chicken disease prevention and treatment requires skilled service providers.
The Ethiopian Livestock Masterplan stresses the need of strengthening animal health services to address problems of poultry health. The manuals will increase trainees knowledge on the causes, diagnosis and treatment of the three chicken diseases.The three manuals have a similar structure and include illustrations and pictures showing the signs of each disease, preventive methods, diagnosis, vaccination schedules and application methods.
Information about these diseases is contained in one ‘chicken health manual’.