Indian vets partner with local authorities in Renk to treat livestock

unmiss south sudan upper nile state malaka india vets contingent peacekeepers cows goats donkeys animals free clinic

Prized assets and companions, and their owners, gathered en masse when UNMISS peacekeepers from India offered free veterinarian services to communities in and around Renk.

19 Apr 2022

Indian vets partner with local authorities in Renk to treat livestock

Priyanka Chowdhury

UPPER NILE STATE – “Livestock is life for us,” says Anyang Agou Adop, Executive Director of Renk county, in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state.

“Our animals enable us to put food on the table, educate our children and make sure we have enough money to make ends meet,” he added.

Animal breeders in Renk, Upper Nile, South Sudan, however, had a recent scare when an outbreak of disease caused many of their livestock to suffer, and at times, die.

Help, however, was around the corner, thanks to Indian veterinarians deployed with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), who travelled to Renk and Gusrom from Malakal to run a two-day veterinary assistance and animal health awareness camp.

“We come to South Sudan with a very specific aim: To protect civilians and keep the peace,” said Lieutenant Colonel Phillip Varghese, a peacekeeper from India.

“Helping people sustain their livelihoods goes a long way in contributing to peacebuilding efforts across this young nation. We, therefore, ensure that the communities we serve trust us and reach out to us whenever they need assistance,” added the Lieutenant Colonel.

In this case it was communities and local authorities who approached UNMISS, their partner for peace, when faced with a difficult situation.

At the two-day outreach, committed veterinarians treated a total of 1,749 animals for a range of conditions including tick-borne issues, parasitic infestations, diarrhoea, anaemia, abscesses, mastitis, surface wounds, pneumonia, pica, and so forth.

Furthermore, Indian Blue Helmets also built capacities among local livestock breeders on regularly deworming their animals, preventing ticks as well as sound animal management practices.

For Mr. Adop, Indian peacekeepers have been longstanding allies in aiding communities when most needed.

“UNMISS and, especially, peacekeepers from India have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Renk communities over the years. This camp, which has seen massive footfalls and been of great help to people, is just one more example of how we work together to shape a better life for everybody. I request them to conduct similar animal health awareness initiatives across Upper Nile,” he stated.

His words are borne out by the smile on a cattle herder’s face after the veterinarians treated his animals.

“To see my animals get almost instant relief from the medicines and care lavished on them is like a dream come true. I am thankful,” said the animal owner, who preferred to be unnamed.