Throughout Africa veterinary medicine take-up is low and as a result it can be very difficult to reach farmers with effective treatments because there is not enough demand to justify the cost. This is not an economic problem though; it stems from a lack of information. Farmers are often unaware of both the costs and the effectiveness of different vaccinations.
iCow was approached by the Global Alliance for Veterinary Medicine (GALVMed) and asked if it would help spread the word to its users about the availability of this cow-saving vaccination. The hope was that iCow could both aid its users in keeping their cows healthy and by demonstrating a demand secure investment for the vaccination supply chain.
Clearly the project has been a success – uptake of the vaccination has taken off and production is struggling to meet demand; demonstrating just how weak the supply chain has been. To further promote the vaccine GALVMed commissioned Well Told Story, a Kenyan positive social communications company to include iCow and the ECF vaccination in its Shujaaz.fm comic which has a monthly distribution of 600,000 copies every month. In the comic, one of the main characters, Charlie, is given a cow by his uncle – the comic follows his efforts to get to grips with livestock rearing!
At the vaccination launch, attended by government officials from five African states, iCow was spoken highly of by the Kenyan Director of Veterinarian Services and introduced alongside major agricultural organisations like the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the UN (FAO)!
We are delighted that iCow continues to make such progress and seize at new opportunities!