Indian peacekeepers vaccinate 2,600 goats and sheep
Working in close coordination with the Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture, UNIFIL’s Indian Battalion (INDBATT) conducted a weeklong vaccination drive against “goat plague” in Halta, south-eastern Lebanon, last week.
Mayor of Kfar Chouba, Dr. Kassim el-Kadari, inaugurated the vaccination camp amidst a ceremony on 28 June which was also attended by INDBATT Commander Colonel Dhirendra Singh. The vaccination programme reached approximately 2,600 sheep and goats from all the 13 villages that come under the responsibility of UNIFIL Indian peacekeepers. INDBATT is also planning additional camps in the area.
Goat plague or Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR), is a viral disease affecting goats and sheep characterized by fever, sores in the mouth, diarrhoea, pneumonia. After an incubation period of three to six days, there is a sudden onset of fever, severe depression, loss of appetite, and clear nasal discharge. Tissues in the mouth can swell and ulcers form on the lower gums, dental pad, hard palate, cheeks and tongue. Pneumonia is common in later stages. Pregnant animals may abort. The prognosis of PPR is uncertain and death can occur within five to ten days of the start of the fever.
Over the last three months, INDBATT Vet Doctor Lieutenant Colonel Baruah has treated approximately over 60,000 domestic animals within its area of responsibility. The veterinary assistance by Indian Battalion has mostly benefited poor farmers and shepherds in the area.
Mutual trust and confidence between UNIFIL and the Lebanese people are the key to maintain peace and stability in south Lebanon, and build a prosperous future for its people.