Spreading Irish wings over Eastern Africa

By Paudie Hyland, Bimeda Technical Vet

bimeda south sudan

South Sudan’s herd owners, future herd owners and Bimeda Crew

I recently travelled to Eastern Africa to promote good veterinary practice and talk to livestock owners about Bimeda products. Bimeda sees its role in Africa to be about educating livestock owners about diseases, as well as providing solutions aimed at preventing and treating an enormous range of devastating diseases.

My trip was a humbling and awe-inspiring adventure, taking me from talks with vets and farmers in Zambia, to cattle Camps in South Sudan, and on to meetings with Kenya’s Maasai herdsmen in Kenya. While my role was largely as an educator, I found that I had a lot to learn from the locals too.

Here are some of the highlights from my trip. For more photos and information on my African adventure, see my blog on Bimeda.ie

 

Zambia

The first leg of the trip took us to Lukasa, in Zambia, where we spent five days talking to vets, farmers and trade staff. Speaking with me was Dr Nick McHardy, a specialist in tick borne diseases, such as East Coast Fever (ECF), which kills about a million cattle a year in East Africa.

 

South Sudan – Any Tips For Treating A Lion?

After Zambia we made our way to Juba, the capital of South Sudan.

As in Zambia, ECF was high on the list of disease problems. Another massive problem is contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP) caused by Mycoplasma mycoides mycoides, which is frequently fatal if untreated.

We visited a cattle camp, which was packed with cattle and people.

We treated as many animals as we could and we had a useful discussion with the camp elders on a plan of action to bring longer lasting solutions to their pressing animal health problems. The thing to remember is that the cattle were these pastoralists’ only wealth. Animal health is intrinsic to supplying healthy milk and meat which are vital staples of their diet.

bimeda ecf treatment

Brown ear ticks on an ECF infected cow

Tips On Treating A Lion?

During another meeting where I spoke about Bimeda’s extensive range of products, a young man stood up and enquired why I had not mentioned any medications for lions? He explained that he had treated a sick adult lioness and was wondering if we had any tips for him to improve his chances of surviving his next feline patient as his usual tactic of inject and run was not the most sustainable in the long term!

 

Meeting The Maasai

The highlight of the trip was a visit to Maasailand in Kenya to take part in Bimeda herd health work with Maasai cattle and to meet the famed Maasai herdsmen, whose lives have revolved around their cattle for thousands of years.

The tribesmen had difficulty in estimating the weight of their animals – a big problem when deciding how much medicine to give.

Because weighing scales are not accessible in the remoter parts of Africa, as part of Bimeda’s herd health Initiative we give out weigh bands. Weigh bands, with training, allow the stockman to make an accurate estimation of his animal’s weight and therefore more effective use of the medicine.

bimeda meet maasai

Weigh band demonstration to the Maasai

Overall the trip was exciting, interesting, rewarding and inspiring, and I am keen to return to the region in the future. For more information on my trip, visit my blog on Bimeda.ie

 

Advertise With Us

A great opportunity to promote your business to our dedicated readership of farmers, landowners, estate managers and associated agricultural professionals.
Contact us today on 02476 353537 and let’s work together to drive your business forward.