18 August 2010 – Recognizing the vital importance of animals to local livelihoods, the UNMIS Indian contingent held free veterinary camps at two locations in Melut County, Upper Nile State, on 17 and 18 August.
Responding to a request from Melut County Commissioner Akuoch Teng Ading, the camps were set up for a day each in Denthoma and Paloich payams (townships) by UNMIS Malakal Commander Lt. Col. Yogesh Dogra and his vet team, along with officials from the Department of Animal Resources and Fisheries, Upper Nile State.
Some 1,235 animals of various species, including goats, cows, sheep and donkeys, were treated at the camp.
Supported by veterinary assistants and staff from the non-governmental organization Veterinaires Sans Frontieres (VSF -- Veterinarians without Borders), the team went from tukul (conical-shaped mud and straw hut) to tukul de-worming entire herds.
Weak, debilitated and malnourished animals were given multivitamins, minerals, liver tonics and appetizers for improving their health. Community leaders in the area informed about the benefits of de-worming, vaccination and better management practices.
Dr Malinga Samuel, Field Veterinary Officer from VSF, said, "Mass de-worming will be extremely useful in reducing the parasitic burden on the animals. Medication will improve the health of the livestock, bringing in prosperity for the owners."
Inaugurating the camp in Denthoma, Melut County Executive Director Acwil Abwol Ayik lauded the work of UNMIS veterinary staff in assisting local people better their livestock. He also noted that the camp provided an opportunity to synergize mission and Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries efforts.
In Paloaich, Nuer community chief Malwet Tut said, "We are extremely happy that a free veterinary camp has been organized in our area. It has provided much needed relief to our animals, especially in this rainy season."
Livestock owner James Pul pointed out that no veterinary facility existed in the environs. "We have benefited from the timely help and hope that such free veterinary aid camps will be a regular feature in the future also."