NCCR North-South Dialogue No. 1

by Esther Schelling

Bern, NCCR North-South, 2007

The health of nomadic pastoralists is influenced by factors specific to their way of life. Nomadic pastoralists depend on livestock for subsistence, especially livestock milk. Veterinary services vaccinate against feared livestock diseases such as anthrax. Pathogens transmissible between livestock and humans (zoonotic agents) may have an important impact on the health of pastoralists because they live in close contact with their animals. However, morbidity among nomadic pastoralists in Chad has not been documented and virtually nothing is known about their everyday use of health services. Collaboration between veterinary and public health officials was implemented to evaluate morbidity among nomadic pastoralists and their animals simultaneously, and to test intersectoral pilot interventions according to the concept of “one medicine”. The studies encompassed in this thesis were conducted in the framework of an interdisciplinary research and action programme. Improving the quality of dispensary services has a potential to increase use of dispensaries by nomadic people. Health workers belonging to the nomadic community itself and better able to reach the camps may be more accessible to women and children. Static or outreach dispensary-based vaccination services do not have the same efficiency reaching nomadic children as mobile vaccination campaigns have. Joint human and animal vaccination campaigns should be extended to other public health and veterinary services and especially to information campaigns, since these campaigns are highly appreciated by the communities and the ministries and can save costs through inter-sectoral sharing of delivery infrastructure.

Schelling, E. 2007. Human and Animal Health in Nomadic Pastoralist Communities of Chad: Zoonoses, Morbidity and Health Services. NCCR North-South Dialogue, 1. Bern, Switzerland: NCCR North-South.


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