Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said over a million animals were vaccinated in the war-hit region of Darfur in the last 10 months, as well as 100,000 in the equally beleaguered region of south Kordufan.
"Between January and October, in a campaign carried out jointly by the ICRC and the Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries (MARF), one million animals in Darfur and almost 100,000 in South Kordufan were immunized against the five major diseases affecting animals in Sudan, the ICRC said in the statement it released simultaneously in Khartoum, Sudan, and Geneva, Switzerland, on Thursday.
"Animal health has been a major concern for nomads in Darfur and South Kordufan," said Christophe Driesse, who coordinates the ICRC's economic security activities in Sudan.
"Armed clashes are making it difficult for them to obtain veterinary services and to reach the grazing areas, where they used to take their animals. The vaccination of animals is an essential means of supporting their livelihood," Driesse noted.
The statement pointed out that among the five major diseases that could affect the animals is anthrax, a bacterial infection that is in most forms mortal and can also spread to humans. The animals vaccinated are cows, goats, sheep, camels, horses and donkeys.
The ICRC provided vaccines and refresher training for members of remote pastoralist communities who monitor animal health and provide basic treatment.
Since 2005, more than 270 community animal health workers have been trained through partnership between ICRC and MARF in Darfur. They have also been provided with drugs and other items needed for the treatment of sick animals.
The statement pointed out that ICRC has been assisting the victims of the armed conflict in Darfur since 2003, adding that it has been involved in the vaccination of animals in partnership with MARF in Darfur since 2005 and in South Kordufan since 2010.
-0- PANA MO/BOS 3Nov2011