Bamako, Mali

Improving the quality of veterinary services by strengthening the skills of veterinary para-professionals


Generally speaking, animal health systems include public and/or private veterinarians, veterinary para-professionals (VPPs), and community animal health workers (CAHWs). The names used for VPPs and CAHWs vary from country to country. In what follows, the definition of VPPs is considered to be that given in the Glossary of the OIE Terrestrial Code

For many years, the OIE has recognised the important role that VPPs can play in supporting national Veterinary Services (VS), particularly in the implementation of animal disease control strategies.

They are all the more important in African countries south of the Sahara in particular, where the shortage of veterinarians was noted during the evaluation of the Performance of Veterinary Services (VS) in most countries. To overcome this shortage of veterinary staff, the OIE recommends the use of adequately trained VPPs to deal with the realities of the field.

It is in this context that the OIE is implementing a number of projects, including the P3V project financed by the French Development Agency (AFD) and implemented in two pilot countries, namely Senegal and Togo.

However, in order to effectively participate in the tasks of the Veterinary Services, VPPs must necessarily have a number of competencies. As a result, the OIE has developed two strategic documents, namely “OIE Competency Guidelines for Veterinary Paraprofessionals” and “OIE Curricula Guidelines for Veterinary Paraprofessionals“. These documents can be used to draft standardised, competency-based job descriptions for VPPs.

Thus, depending on the training received, VPPs can perform various functions related to animal health and production.

For example, VPPs may be allowed to participate in (i) animal disease control and prevention activities such as treatment of animals, management of veterinary drug supplies, organisation and implementation of vaccination and deworming campaigns, (ii) veterinary public health activities such as control of rabies or other zoonotic diseases, or safety of food of animal origin, and (iii) their active involvement in epidemiological surveillance activities, including work in veterinary laboratories.

Further information is provided in the following article: The role of veterinary para-professionals (VPPs) in the delivery  of veterinary services in Africa.

The P3V project has three specific objectives: (i) the establishment of an institutional framework for the harmonious and coherent development of the different categories of veterinary personnel, in particular VPPs, (ii) the strengthening of VPPs’ skills through the improvement of initial and continuing training, in particular by consolidating training curricula and producing educational and digital resources with a training platform, and (iii) the development of a sustainable socio-economic framework to facilitate the professional insertion of VPPs.


The project is funded by the French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement)

Agence Française de Développement

More information:

Formation Agricole et Rurale 7 Avril 2021

[in French] Formation des para-professionnels vétérinaires : un gage d’efficacité d’un réseau de professionnels de santé animale

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Paris, France

The role of veterinary paraprofessionals (VPP) in the delivery of veterinary services in Africa

October 07, 2015
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Irene, South Africa

African veterinary paraprofessionals call for renewed framework to engage with the veterinary profession and for enhanced involvement in veterinary matters across the African continent.

October 15, 2015
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