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08-09-2008 - VETAID vaccinates for peace

VETAID vaccinates for peace

NEARLY 16,000 animals in Kenya's Rift Valley Province were given free vaccinations and treatment by UK-based charity VETAID in July.

During the 'Vaccination for peace' project in the Kuresoi and Keringet divisions of Molo District, VETAID, in collaboration with government veterinary teams, provided vaccination, clinical treatment and deworming for 15,687 animals. People have returned to the area having been displaced by the violence that followed elections in December last year. Others have moved to subsidiary camps nearer their farm-land, bringing their animals with them. Most local families lost animals during the violence, and the charity says that the animals that remain are in poor physical condition, with increased incidence of diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease and lumpy skin disease. The lack of routine animal management practices has also caused outbreaks of diseases such as East Coast fever and helminthosis.

VETAID says that the disease control project was also intended to act as a peace-building initiative, bringing together different groups of people who had been in conflict during the violence. Dr Victoria Kyallo commented: ' During the vaccination exercise, people who had previously been in conflict with each other were interacting well and helping each other with the animals. This also helped ease the tension between members of the different communities. It is important for us to work with the government to help bring these communities back together.'

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