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Panorama Around the worldPublic–private partnership: a key strategy to achieve ‘LastMile’ veterinary service delivery

Around the world Posted on 2020-01-14 16:08:47

Public–private partnership: a key strategy to achieve ‘LastMile’ veterinary service delivery

How the engagement of the public Veterinary Services and veterinary para-professionals is essential to the success of the LastMile Initiative


Lazare Tano, Africa Marketing & Technical Manager, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health.

The designations and denominations employed and the presentation of the material in this article do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the OIE concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers and boundaries.
The views expressed in this article are solely the responsibility of the author(s). The mention of specific companies or products of manufacturers, whether or not these have been patented, does not imply that these have been endorsed or recommended by the OIE in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned.

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With the support of the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVmed) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the LastMile Initiative aims to bridge current gaps in access and awareness of quality animal healthcare solutions for smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. A public–private partnership (PPP) between Veterinary Services and the private sector is in place in several countries to reach these goals.

Boehringer Ingelheim is aiming to establish groups of qualified animal health technicians who will travel to areas that are difficult to access through the usual distribution networks. These veterinary para-professionals will help to increase farmers’ knowledge on disease prevention and treatment, while still working within the boundaries of national legislation on veterinary activities.

Most of the information and products proposed to farmers are taken more seriously when validated by public Veterinary Services

Boehringer Ingelheim invests human resources and the necessary funds to improve service delivery, thus contributing to a ‘win-win’ partnership. Working in synergy with the public sector will allow LastMile teams to plan their roadshow and create long-lasting partnerships with local farming communities, in an effort to establish and drive sustainable businesses that are integrated into the wider national economy. The farmers’ knowledge of disease prevention and treatment will be substantially increased. Most of the information and products proposed to farmers are taken more seriously when validated by public Veterinary Services. This can be achieved simply by having a staff member of the public Veterinary Services present, or through positive comments when farmers visit their offices.

In Nigeria, for example, Boehringer Ingelheim has worked with a group called the National Commission for Nomadic Education (NCNE), a government initiative to reach end users, i.e. the same target audience as the LastMile Initiative. Public Veterinary Services are involved with farmer groups and cooperatives in their local areas and are key influencers on the leaders of these groups. This can be crucial when trying to inform farmers of the use and value of various products and services.

It is therefore Boehringer Ingelheim’s view that the LastMile Initiative constitutes a sustainable PPP between public Veterinary Services and the company; in particular, through the company’s team of private veterinary para-professionals who reach all farmers, everywhere in the country, for education and animal care.

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