Free veterinary camp by UNMISS peacekeepers from India wins hearts and minds in Renk
Breeding animals is one of the primary sources of livelihood for local communities across South Sudan.
However, people often do not have access to adequate veterinary support to ensure that livestock remains healthy.
Indian veterinarians serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), therefore, recently organized a free camp for livestock breeders in Renk county, Upper Nile state.
Peacekeepers went door-to-door to raise awareness on basic animal health practices and treated some 2,204 cattle, sheep, goats and donkeys for various conditions, including parasitic infestations, diarrhea, anemia, pneumonia, ticks and so forth.
Nyial Lating, a local cattle breeder was grateful for the expertise and care that his animals received from the Indian peacekeepers. “Healthy cattle ensure that I am able to put food on the table for my children,” reveals Nyial. “I am grateful to the UNMISS veterinarians for taking the time to treat all my animals.”
“We don’t have any veterinary services nearby and such camps are invaluable for the local population because we receive much-needed support and knowledge,” he continued.
Bashier Yagob, another livestock owner agrees.
“This free veterinary camp fulfils a massive gap for livestock breeders here,” says Bashier. “Not only have our animals received treatment for numerous conditions but we have also learned how to keep them healthy, especially during the rainy season.”
For Lieutenant-Colonel Phillip Varghese from the Indian contingent, helping local communities is the primary motivation.
“Our veterinary team consistently engages with community members so that we know how we can best serve them,” he states. “Our aim is always to build capacities of animal owners so that they are able to look after their livestock themselves,” continues Lieutenant-Colonel Varghese.
“The warm welcome we receive from community members makes us believe that we are, as Blue Berets, doing what we came here to do—make a fundamental difference in their lives.”