In Wau, UNMISS Bangladeshi peacekeepers run a free veterinary campaign
WESTERN BAHR EL GHAZAL – In South Sudan, livestock is an essential source of income for families. Yet, the lack of adequate veterinary support continues to prove a challenge for animal breeders.
Thanks to Bangladeshi peacekeepers serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), livestock owners in Hai Jedid in Wau, Western Bahr El Ghazal, have received veterinary assistance; their cattle, goats and sheep were vaccinated and treated for several conditions.
“This campaign is very beneficial to our people and their animals. Healthy animals means healthy people because of certain transmissible diseases that can affect animals as well as humans,” highlighted Bibiana Anthony Delfino, a veterinary officer in the Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries.
Supporting local communities with such campaigns is part of promoting peace and sustainability, says Colonel Mohamad Shafquat-ul-Islam, Commanding Officer of the Bangladeshi Blue Helmets.
“By giving a helping hand to communities, we contribute to them becoming self-sufficient,” averred the Colonel. “When people are economically empowered, there is a direct impact on conflict reduction.”
For Ayak Wol, a widow who had brought her animals for treatment, this gesture by UNMISS peacekeepers is welcome.
“My husband died five years ago. My animals are the only way I support my children and pay for their education. What UNMISS peacekeepers are doing gives us hope and confidence that our cattle will be healthy, despite rainy season,” she stated.
Dedicated veterinarians vaccinated and treated some 400 animals and handed over medicines to livestock owners and also sensitized them on preventing diseases.
“We educated people on treating their animals and disinfecting the premises where animals were kept. An outbreak affects everyone, and proper hygiene is necessary to prevent any animal-borne diseases,” revealed Major Mizanur Rahman, a Bangladeshi veterinarian.
Access to veterinary care is limited across South Sudan. But such interventions by committed peacekeepers give communities much-needed hope.