County Government of Turkana is devoted to reducing the death rate among livestock in Turkana, which is the major source of livelihood for the pastoral community. This the county does by conducting frequent treatment and vaccination of livestock and also training the pastoralists on Best Management Practices.
In partnership with Save the Children, the County Veterinary Department is conducting mass treatment, deworming and vaccination of shoats in Kibish sub-county. This exercise began on 12th December, 2019 and is to be concluded on the 22nd of this month. This is an integrated emergency response and drought recovery programme under agriculture and food security sector, livestock sub-sector. A total of 40,000 shoats are targeted for deworming and Peste des Petits “Ruminants (PPR) vaccination, alongside treatment of sick animals. Prior to this exercise, Save the Children successful conducted training of 30 Community Disease Reporters (CDR’s) in the region.
Save the children has catered for the logistics while the county government provided the veterinary vaccines, drugs and technical staff to conduct the exercise
This exercise is being supervised by county veterinary team led by Chief Officer Fisheries, Livestock Production and Veterinary Services Dr. Michael Ekidor Eregae, and was accompanied by Director veterinary services Dr. Benson Long’or and Dr. Jane Akal and Dr Job Rono.
So far, major issues encountered in the exercise include high cases of foot root disease, pneumonia, abscesses, abortions, worms, ticks, Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia (CCPP) and high cases of suspected bluetongue diseases.
According to Dr. Rono, the County Veterinary Department is planning to collect and analyse samples from livestock suspected to have bluetongue disease. This, he added, will enable quick interventions to be conducted to prevent more death of animals as a result of the suspected disease.
Some of the challenges encountered in conducting the exercise include; resistance from the community- especially in Loruth area, frequent migrations that have interfered with targets and muddy impassable roads due to ongoing rains that have resulted to inaccessibility of some targeted areas like Nayanae Amoni.
Although, the recent rains have made water easily accessible and households no longer take their livestock to water pans where these are target places for the exercise. In addition, network in the region is poor with some areas having no network at all and this is a challenge in mobilising households.
Despite the challenges, the organisers acknowledge the positive response from the Kibish community which has high acceptability for livestock treatment and vaccination.
Apart from this programme, another vaccination and treatment exercise targeting 72,000 livestock is being concluded today in Lake Zone, Kalokol and Kang’akipur areas. This programme is funded by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) through VSF- Germany and implemented by Turkana County Veterinary department.
Vaccination and treatment of animals is a routine programme by the county veterinary department that aims at safeguarding animal health to improve livelihood in the region.

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