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Elgeyo Marakwet plans to vaccinate 50,000 sheep,goats

The Department of Veterinary Services in Elgeyo Marakwet County, by the end of September, aims to vaccinate approximately 50,000 sheep and goats against two prevalent diseases in the area: Petes-de-Petits Ruminants (PPR) and Contagious Caprine Pleura Pneumonia (CCPP).

Marakwet West Veterinary Officer, Susan Kurui, said the initiative aims to safeguard the health and livelihoods of local farmers, adding: “The vaccines are ready, and resources are being mobilised to swiftly initiate the vaccination drive.”

Veterinary officers, she added, have sprung into action to address the pressing issue of disease outbreaks that have led to substantial losses among farmers.

She said the vaccination will be concentrated in both Marakwet West and Marakwet East Sub-counties and emphasised the need to support farmers in mitigating potential losses.

It has been reported that farmers have already suffered significant losses, with an estimated 250 goats succumbing to suspected PPR.

A high mortality rate among young goats and lambs has been attributed to worm infestations, which weaken the animals’ immunity and leave them vulnerable to infections.

Kurui pointed out that the vulnerability of young animals underscores the importance of a comprehensive approach to animal health management.

“Frequent de-worming is crucial, ideally every three months, to bolster the animals’ overall health,” Kurui advised.

Moreover, she recommended a consistent schedule of cattle dipping, at least twice weekly, as an effective preventive measure against tick-borne diseases.

She advised farmers to consult veterinary officers for accurate information on animal diseases and proper husbandry practises and emphasised the importance of dispelling misinformation by seeking advice from reliable sources.

Kurui called on farmers to engage with local livestock and veterinary officers to gain a deeper understanding of best practises, for maintaining healthy animals and livestock.

Local farmers expressed appreciation for the Veterinary Department’s efforts to curb the spread of diseases that have long plagued their livestock.

“We’ve been grappling with these diseases for a while now, and this initiative comes as a beacon for us,” said Mr. Kiptoo.

He added that he would encourage fellow farmers to actively participate in the vaccination drive.

As the Veterinary Department races against time to administer vaccines and educate farmers, it’s clear that this comprehensive approach to animal health holds promise for enhancing the well-being of livestock and securing the livelihoods of those who depend on them.

The success of this campaign could pave the way for a more resilient and prosperous farming community in Elgeyo Marakwet County.

By Rennish Okong’o

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