The livelihood of pastoralist communities in South Sudan relies heavily on the health of their livestock. Keeping the cattle in good shape is key to controlling the spread of common livestock diseases that render communities throughout South Sudan increasingly vulnerable to food insecurity and malnutrition, especially during the May to August period.
With USAID Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) support, an NGO, Veterinaries sans Frontiers/Germany (VSF/G), has been conducting livestock interventions, including vaccination campaigns and trainings, to improve livestock health, ensure food security, and preserve the livelihoods of herders in South Sudan.
VSF/G 's Livestock Emergency Response Program has been supporting animal health workers to conduct vaccination campaigns in areas with high risk of livestock diseases. VSF/G teams vaccinated 20,000 animals throughout Twic East and treated more than 1,000 animals affected by the contagious bovine pleura pneumonia (CBPP) outbreak in September 2017.
The NGO has been educating cattle owners on the importance of proper quarantine procedures and safe herding practices. The cattle owners have reported lower disease incidence and reduced death rates among livestock in the weeks following the vaccinations and trainings.
“Milk yields from our cows have improved, producing three litres of milk per cow,” Aluel, a cattle owner, said. “My children do not go hungry any more. They are healthy now, which makes me a happy mother,” she added.