Original Research

Constraints in animal health service delivery and sustainable improvement alternatives in North Gondar, Ethiopia

Hassen Kebede, Achenef Melaku, Elias Kebede
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 81, No 1 | a713 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v81i1.713 | © 2014 Hassen Kebede, Achenef Melaku, Elias Kebede | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 November 2013 | Published: 12 November 2014

About the author(s)

Hassen Kebede, Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, University of Gondar, Ethiopia
Achenef Melaku, Department of Veterinary Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Gondar, Ethiopia
Elias Kebede, Department of Veterinary Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Gondar, Ethiopia


Poor livestock health services remain one of the main constraints to livestock production in many developing countries, including Ethiopia. A study was carried out in 11 districts of North Gondar, from December 2011 to September 2012, with the objective of identifying the existing status and constraints of animal health service delivery, and thus recommending possible alternatives for its sustainable improvement. Data were collected by using pre-tested questionnaires and focus group discussion. Findings revealed that 46.34% of the responding farmers had taken their animals to government veterinary clinics after initially trying treatments with local medication. More than 90.00% of the clinical cases were diagnosed solely on clinical signs or even history alone. The antibacterial drugs found in veterinary clinics were procaine penicillin (with or without streptomycin), oxytetracycline and sulphonamides, whilst albendazole, tetramisole and ivermectin were the only anthelmintics. A thermometer was the only clinical aid available in all clinics, whilst only nine (45.00%) clinics had a refrigerator. In the private sector, almost 95.00% were retail veterinary pharmacies and only 41.20% fulfilled the requirement criteria set. Professionals working in the government indicated the following problems: lack of incentives (70.00%), poor management and lack of awareness (60.00%) and inadequate budget (40.00%). For farmers, the most frequent problems were failure of private practitioners to adhere to ethical procedures (74.00%) and lack of knowledge of animal diseases and physical distance from the service centre (50.00%). Of all responding farmers, 58.54% preferred the government service, 21.14% liked both services equally and 20.33% preferred the private service. Farmers’ indiscriminate use of drugs from the black market (23.00%) was also mentioned as a problem by private practitioners. Sustainable improvement of animal health service delivery needs increased awareness for all stakeholders and a well-regulated private service in order to mitigate the constraints apparent in the government service.


Animal health service delivery; North Gondar; privatization


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