New camel drug to be disseminated through counties

Written By: Caroline Njenga/Benson Rioba

The government is set to unveil a new livestock drug that will help increase productivity of camels.

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Kenya Biotechnology Research Institute Director Judith Chemuliti says there are concerns that drugs in the market being used to treat Camel tryponomiasis are not very effective.

Although camels adapted well to life in arid and semi-arid areas, many diseases affect their health and productivity and the most important of which is a vector borne disease is called Camel trypanosomiasis commonly referred to as ‘surra’.

Surra is extremely incapacitating and a major cause of mortality in camels.

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Camel keepers in Isiolo and Marsabit have been grappling with the disease that has reduced productivity.

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The pastoralists say the current drug in the shelves is not as effective as it used to.

The government is set to unveil a new camel drug to replace the one that has been in use over the last 20 years.

Chemuliti says the government has set aside 70 million shillings to conduct a study that will come up with an integrated control package and approaches that will optimize efficiency in camel production and minimize losses.

The new drug will be disseminated through the County governments.

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Elsewhere, the Kenya Veterinary Board is asking both the county and national governments to set aside emergency funds for immunization of livestock against the Rift Valley Fever that has been reported in at least four counties.

The board is advising affected counties to impose a quarantine limiting movement of all livestock to contain the outbreak that has claimed at least 26 lives.

From early last month the country has been grappling with an outbreak of the Rift Valley Fever that has so far killed 26 people and several animals.

The Kenya Veterinary Board blames this to slow response by authorities in containing the outbreak.

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The board’s national chairman Dr. Christopher Wanga wants emergency funds availed for immunization of livestock in Kajiado, Siaya, Baringo, Wajir, Tana River and Isiolo counties that are hotspots for the disease.

The Kenya Veterinary Board is also rooting for enforcement of quarantine in the affected counties.

They advised farmers to only seek extension services from certified veterinary officers at the same time warning Kenyans against consuming uninspected meat to reduce the risk of infection.

The Kenya Veterinary Board plans to audit each county’s preparedness to contain animal disease outbreaks.

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