Cattle and Chaos Collide –A Veterinary Students Experience in Kenya
On one of our favourite days in Kenya so far, we had a walk-in clinic organized by the Muchui Women’s Group in conjunction with Dr. John van Leeuwen and his veterinary students, with the help of StephenChandi and LeahKarioki, FHF’s in-country staff.Locals brought their cattle to be dewormed or treated for suspected illness. In this area of Kenya,cattle are grazed in a pastoral style system.
The day wasorganized chaos- people yelling, cattle running around on the loose, bulls fighting in the holding pen, cows jumping over and breaking through gates. It was awesome! We saw over 400 animals and it was very rewarding and felt as though we were making a very big impact. We divided into two groups, one group deworming and the other examining and treating sick cattle. Both spots were very enjoyable. It was interesting to see the variety of cattle breeds: Brahman, Zebu, Holstein, Jersey, Guernsey and every combination.We sawmany diseases that we don’t encounter back in Canada, mostly tick-borne diseases such as East Coast Fever (Theileriosis) and Anaplasmosis, along with conditions caused by overexposure to sun, such as cataracts.
Over the course of our three weeks in Kenya, we are educating farmers on nutrition, milk quality and animal care.At the walk-in clinic, we gained a greater appreciation of the problems faced by smallholder cattle farmers in Kenya and are looking forward to making the most of our remaining two weeks in the country.