This article evaluates a veterinary intervention program of the Dutch Committee for Afghanistan, started during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, a 10 year period during which veterinary services were otherwise completed disrupted. The veterinary field program was carried out mainly by paravets. A questionnaire-based survey was conducted to measure livestock mortality in districts that received veterinary services through the project and in neighboring districts that had not had veterinary services for about 10 years. The survey indicated that livestock mortality in districts that received veterinary services was lower than in districts without any veterinary services. Comparison of each of the 22 age-species-specific district pairs showed a difference in favor of the covered district in 18 pairs. In 12 out of these 18 pairs, this difference was significant. Overall annual mortality rates differed (in relative amounts) by 25%, 30%, and 22%, in calves, lambs, and kids, respectively, and in adult cattle, sheep, and goats, by roughly 30%, 40%, and 60%, respectively. In the absence of any other obvious distinctive features between the compared districts, we concluded that this difference in mortality was due to the presence or absence of veterinary services. A benefit-cost analysis showed that the benefit-cost ratio for the program was between 1.8 and 4.8. The high benefit-cost ratio resulted partly from the fact that the costs of the program were low, because it was implemented by a volunteer-run, non-governmental organization. In addition, due to the special circumstances prevailing in the country, any input in combatting diseases at this stage was bound to have a relatively high impact. We concluded that: (1) the veterinary program was important for the rebuilding of numbers of livestock and thus for the economy of Afghanistan, and (2) veterinary intervention programs under these and comparable circumstances can be highly cost-effective.
Schreuder, B. E. C., Moll, H. A. J., Noorman, N., Halimi, M., Kroese, A. H., & Wassink, G. (1996). A benefit-cost analysis of veterinary interventions in Afghanistan based on a livestock mortality study. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 26, 303-314. https://doi.org/10.1016/0167-5877(95)00542-0