Intersectional Identities of Livestock Owners in Nepal, Senegal, and Uganda, and How They Matter in Accessing Livestock Vaccines
The Advancing Women’s Participation in the Livestock Vaccine Value Chain in Nepal, Senegal and Uganda project, funded by the International Development Research Centre, Global Affairs Canada, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, seeks to understand and increase equitable access to vaccines for small ruminants and poultry in several countries.
Peste des petits ruminants and Newcastle diseases are among the deadliest viral diseases in small ruminants and poultry, respectively. These two diseases create huge economic losses, which are especially devastating to the livelihoods of millions smallholder farmers in Africa and Asia. Vaccination campaigns in the target countries (Nepal, Senegal, and Uganda) are often ineffective due to delays in procuring and administering the vaccine. Vaccine effectiveness is also limited by the inability to reach the most marginalized populations. This situation makes true eradication virtually impossible, as these highly contagious diseases can easily spread from pockets of unvaccinated animals who remain as reservoirs for the disease.
Our research project applies an intersectional lens to better understand and identify the factors affecting farmers’ access to livestock vaccines, including gender, caste, ethnicity, livelihood source, and geographic location. We then work with local animal health workers and veterinary service providers to identify best strategies for reaching these various livestock owners through trainings.
The health of small ruminants and poultry is linked directly to human health in these populations, as they often act as a source of both income and food protein and micronutrients for a household. When small ruminants and poultry succumb to a preventable disease, livelihoods are severely disrupted. Small ruminants and poultry play a critical role in rural livelihoods in all three study contexts, but these contexts all vary significantly in their cultural norms, geographic location, and technological accessibility, making scaling and universal coverage difficult to achieve. As there is no one-size-fits-all approach that will solve the barriers experienced by diverse people in these diverse places, the project is looking for more effective ways to target the “unreachable” animals and their owners.