|Ethnoveterinary Medicine in Asia - General Information (IIRR, 1994, 145 p.)|
Introducing Western technologies in developing countries can have side effects and disadvantages that may outnumber their benefits. Western veterinary medicine is no exception. Drawbacks include:
· Drugs are unavailable in rural areas or their supply is erratic.
· Imported drugs are expensive.
· Many stockraisers either underdose to save money, or overdose because they do not understand the instructions for use.
Stockraisers would often be better off if they knew ethnoveterinary remedies and practices for the most common animal diseases. Such remedies and practices reflect centuries of experience and trial and error, they are adapted to the local culture and environmental conditions, and they are inexpensive and locally available.
Local veterinary practices have been systematically recorded and documented for more than a decade, but the results have found little application in development efforts. There are two reasons for this:
· Many international and national organizations have not yet recognized the role and potential contribution of ethnoveterinary medicine in development. This contrasts with the case in human ethnomedicine, which has been widely recognized and used by development organizations.
Little written information exists on practices that work and can be recommended. Without any guidelines on what to use and what not to use, development professionals hesitate to integrate ethnoveterinary practices into project design and implementation.
These manuals aim to overcome the latter constraint. They will facilitate the use of ethnoveterinary medicine and enable project designers and field personnel to tap this valuable resource. They are a ready-to- use package on ethnoveterinary remedies and practices that can be implemented and recommended in villages.
The manuals demonstrate that ethnoveterinary science contains many valuable, traditional practices which can serve as low-cost and practical alternatives for rural communities throughout the world. However, much remains to be done to document, assess and understand the wide range of ethnoveterinary practices used across the globe. We hope that the compilation of these practices will serve as an inspiration to the veterinary science and pharmacology research community to undertake studies to validate traditional livestock practices. We also hope that the simple, practical and low-cost practices outlined in these manuals will benefit rural households and communities whose livelihood involves livestock production.
How these manuals were compiled
The International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (JIM) has pioneered a rapid, efficient way to produce information materials through the use of participatory workshops. Such workshops bring together academics, officials, nongovernment organization staff, extension personnel and farmers, together with editors and artists in intensive, one- or two-week sessions to write, edit, illustrate and critique the materials. A complete set of materials can be drawn up within this brief period. Only minor editing and refinement are necessary to obtain material that is ready to print. This workshop process has two major advantages: it reduces the total amount of time needed to develop information materials and it profits from the expertise and resources of a wide range of participants and their organizations.
This approach was used to compile the ethnoveterinary manuals. Preparations for the workshop started several months before the actual workshop date. A steering committee composed of staff members of IIRR and the Philippine Program of Heifer Project International contacted organizations and asked them to recommend individuals who had experience in the application of ethnoveterinary medicine at the field level or had tested such remedies in farm animals. The steering committee also developed a list of tentative topics and sent it to recommended candidates for two purposes: (1) to ask them to verify suggested topics and suggest additional ones and (2) to discover in which areas they could contribute.
Finally, some 20 participants were selected on the basis of the following criteria: (1) country (no more than four per country in tropical Asia), (2) regional distribution within country, (3) extensive field or laboratory experience with ethnoveterinary medicine; and (4) potential contributions of the participant to avoid overlap and ensure a broad coverage of topics.
Based on the participants' responses to the topic list, the steering committee assigned six or seven specific topics to each participant and asked him or her to compile first drafts along guidelines provided. Participants brought these drafts as well as other resource materials to the workshop.
For the workshop proper, some 20 participants from Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the USA met at IIRR on July 11-24, 1994. They included scientists, staff members of NGOs working at the field level and farmers.
During the workshop, the participants presented the drafts they had prepared, discussed these and critiqued them in plenary sessions. After each presentation, participants named additional remedies used in their countries for the disease or problem under discussion. Thus, the original drafts were enriched with remedies from several other countries in Asia.
All remedies were discussed and either accepted against a commonly agreed upon set of criteria, or rejected by the group if participants regarded them as harmful, dangerous or ineffective according to their professional judgement. Some topics were dropped, others combined or added. Editors and artists from IIRR helped each participant make the suggested changes in his or her topic. Through this process, second drafts of about 80 topics were developed and discussed.
The second drafts were again presented in three groups, one each for ruminants, swine and poultry. Each group discussed the drafts in detail, editing and checking the validity of each remedy. Again, editors and artists integrated the revisions to text and illustrations. The resulting third drafts then underwent a final review by the IIRR editorial team and were prepared for printing.
Because the final version of the topics reflected the inputs not only from those who had originally drafted the text but also from many other participants, it was decided not to name specific authors for each topic but to identify the entire group as authors for the complete set of manuals.
The initial stimulus for these manuals came from Dr. Julian Gonsalves of the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR). We would like to thank him for his support. IIRR would also like to thank the workshop participants for their hard work and invaluable contributions during the workshop. Without them, producing this set of materials would not have been possible.
The workshop and the printing of these manuals were supported by Bread for the World, Heifer Project International (HPI), the World Bank's Small Grants Program, the German Appropriate Technology Exchange Service (GATE) of the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and IIRR. The Research Institute for Veterinary Science in Bogor, Indonesia, supported the participation of the participant from Indonesia.