Mastitis Workshop – February 2015
This past February, Somen Nandi, managing director of Global HealthShare, travelled with Dr. James Cullor to Kigali, Rwanda to present at a national mastitis workshop that brought together the University of Rwanda School of Agriculture, the Rwandan Agricultural Board (RAB), and the Rwanda National Dairy Platform (RNDP). The aim of the workshop was to highlight the importance of managing, preventing, and treating mastitis, and to enlighten policymakers of the benefits of conducting research on livestock diseases.
The outcomes of the workshop intended to educate stakeholders and train farmers as to how to successfully contribute to the prevention of mastitis, while bringing attention of this issue to policymakers. Emphasizing the current prevalence and economic impact of mastitis infection in the dairy industry of Rwanda is an integral step in the path to prevention and treatment.
Challenges in the Rwanda Dairy Industry
Pathways out of poverty have been provided to Rwandan farmers through the enhancement of the dairy industry, as dairy farms play an integral role in Rwandan agricultural infrastructure. Since 2012, GHS has been creating training modules and partnering with both Land O’Lakes, universities in Rwanda, and groups along the supply chain, in the hopes of improving the health of the cattle and the livelihood of the farmers.
It is estimated that 70 percent of the Rwandan population drinks milk at a rate of about 40 liters per capita per year and this number is expected grow annually by 2%. By capacity building and strengthening the dairy value chain, Rwanda has been set on track to experience positive economic development.
Clinical Microbiology Diagnostic Training Workshop – March 2014
GHS lead a training workshop in Rwanda, conducting interactive lectures and hands-on microbiology lab training allowing for an approach called “training-the-trainer.” The trained faculty members at the University of Rwanda and Dairy Dynamic Management (DDM) specialists implemented training sessions for four final year students every month for four months. Between the two campuses, 32 students were trained. The laboratories were also properly set up by Dr. Nandi and his team, to ensure proper data collection, preparation of blood agar plates, and microbiology samples to continue research on mastitis treatment and prevention. To help facilitate remote learning opportunities, a website has been created for the program (http://gorwanda.ucdavisextension-onlinelearning.net/).