(ERGO) – A mass livestock immunisation campaign has begun in Somalia’s Middle Shabelle region targeting over one million goats and sheep.
The vaccinations started in 100 villages in Jowhar, Mahaday, Bal’ad, Warsheikh, and Adale amid an outbreak of sheep measles (Cysticercusovis) and sheep and goat pox (SGP).
Omar Adan Samatar, the director of livestock department in Middle Shabelle administration, said a survey conducted in August confirmed that around 1,500 goats were infected.
“Every month, we do a report on livestock diseases in the region aiming at knowing the conditions of the animals. Our August report indicated the existence of the diseases,” he said.
Dr Omar Samatar, head of Central Regional Livestock Professional Association (CARELPA) carrying out the vaccinations, said 50 workers including veterinarians and other staff have been deployed in villages and remote areas to vaccinate the livestock.
Fardowsa Mohamed Abdi, one of the veterinarians involved, told Radio Ergo that the vaccination project was the largest in the region in the last two years.
She said it will protect the livestock from disease and cushion pastoralists from economic losses through sickness and death of livestock.
The sheep measles parasite is carried by dogs. The larval stage in sheep results in unsightly cysts.
The local pastoralist community welcomed the campaign.QasimBarow from Dhurwale village on the outskirts of Warsheikh town lost five goats to sheep measles after one of the goats carried the disease from a local market.
“I took one goat to the market to sell but it wasn’t sold so I brought it back home. I suspect that is how my livestock contracted sheep measles disease. Seventy of my remaining sheep and goats have now been vaccinated against both diseases and now they are fine,” Qasim said.
Amina Osman Shueyb, who lives in Adada village five km north of Jowhar town, lost 40 of her goats to goat pox. She commended the vaccination campaign saying the project gives her assurance that her livestock is safe. Amina’s 80 goats were vaccinated this month.
According to the vets, the diseases have also been noted in Galgadud and Hiran region, suspected to have been facilitated by the movement of the pastoralist communities in the areas.