A Collaborative Effort to Empower Ga Mampa Farmers in Addressing Animal Health Care Challenges

The Future Africa Research Chair on Health, People and Places (One Health) recently partnered with the Animal Health Directorate of the Limpopo Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to address the critical issue of basic animal health care in rural farmers. Recognising the high prevalence of tick-borne diseases in livestock, which can pose risks to human health, this collaboration aimed to provide expert knowledge and training to empower farmers in the village of Ga Mampa in Limpopo province, South Africa.

Aligned with the One Health Joint Plan of Action established by the Quadripartite Organisations (FAO, UNEP, WHO, WOAH), this initiative reinforced the global message of addressing community-level challenges by raising awareness, enhancing capacity, and allocating sufficient resources.

As part of this initiative, an Animal Health Introductory Workshop was hosted on the 13th of June 2023, at the Ga Mampa community hall. The workshop aimed to bring together key stakeholders, including rural farmers, the Chief of Ga Mampa, the Ga Mampa Livestock Committee, and local state veterinary technicians.

The workshop was facilitated by Mr Kenneth Malatji, a skilled veterinary technician and animal health trainer, and covered important topics aimed at enhancing the farmers' understanding of animal well-being and disease prevention.

One of the topics focused on early disease identification, emphasising the recognition of:

  • health and disease signs in animals,
  • understanding the disease process,
  • daily animal observation,
  • disease prevention strategies,
  • treatment options,and
  • the importance of recording and reporting.

Another topic centred around animal production, shedding light on the value of investing in animal health, seasonal nutritional needs, cost analysis comparing medication expenses to potential losses caused by diseases, and strategies for maintaining the value of livestock from birth to market.

In addition, the farmers participated in a practical demonstration session, during which they acquired experience in disease examination, temperature reading, tick inspection, and proper injection techniques using a live goat. These practical demonstrations aimed to empower farmers to implement effective animal health care practices in their day-to-day livestock management.

To ensure continued support and knowledge retention, educational pamphlets written in Sepedi, the local language in Ga Mampa, were distributed to the farmers. The pamphlets provided step-by-step guidance on conducting daily health inspections, accurately recording vital information, and recognising signs of diseases. By equipping farmers with these resources, the workshop aimed to foster ongoing education and awareness in animal health care.


The workshop covered important topics that aimed to enhance the farmers' understanding of animal well-being and disease prevention.

Ga Mampa farmers participating in a practical demonstration at the workshop
Ga Mampa farmers participating in a practical demonstration at the workshop

The area of Ga Mafefe, where the community of Ga Mampa is situated, holds a special significance in this initiative due to its proximity to the Matlapitsi Cave. Since 2009, the Biosurveillance and Ecology of Emerging Zoonoses research group (BEEZ) of the University of Pretoria Centre for Viral Zoonoses (UP CVZ), led by Professor Wanda Markotter, Future Africa's Research Chair in One Health, has conducted bat pathogen research at this site.

The success of this collaborative effort has played a significant role in addressing the challenges faced by farmers. By providing expert knowledge and practical skills, the project has contributed to enhancing the overall well-being and productivity of their livestock, ultimately improving their livelihoods. The workshop has laid the foundation for continued partnerships and collective efforts to address the pressing issues in Ga Mampa's agricultural sector, emphasising the importance of community involvement.