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Improving the delivery of veterinary services in Africa: insights from the empirical application of transaction costs theory in Uganda and Kenya

Author(s) : J. Ilukor

Summary :

This paper presents a summary of findings from a research project that examined institutional arrangements for providing animal health services in Uganda and Kenya. Given the need to find solutions to the pervasive governance challenges encountered in the delivery of veterinary services in Africa, the study applied transaction economics theory to generate recommendations on how to improve the delivery of these services and minimise livestock production risks, including those that pose a risk to human health, e.g. zoonoses. The most notable recommendations are as follows: i) lower- and middle-income countries should invest in creating an enabling environment that supports the relationship between professional veterinarians and para-professionals, to ensure the timely reporting, treatment and control of animal diseases; ii) the provision of veterinary extension services should not focus solely on household ‘heads’, but also on other household members, such as wives and children, and on herdsmen; iii) strong government engagement is required in the provision of veterinary services for pastoral or extensive livestock production systems, because normal market forces have failed to attract professional veterinarians and trained para-professionals from the private sector to work in these sectors;

Keywords
Africa – Kenya – Service delivery – Transaction cost economics – Uganda – Veterinary services.

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