Kenya’s dry land areas (also called ASAL, arid and semi arid lands) cover more than 80% of the country. They are mainly found along the Northern Rift Valley and are home to around 4 million pastoralists who make up more than 10% of the country‘s population.
ASAL areas are characterized by negative effects of climate change, environmental degradation, extreme poverty, institutional weaknesses, poor infrastructure, pastoralism as a way of life, high vulnerability to food insecurity, resource-based conflicts and high per capita cost of and limited service delivery. Yet, it is drought that poses the biggest threat to sustainable food security and livelihoods in ASAL areas.
With support from our donors and in collaboration with different partners, VSFG is employing a variety of innovative practices in delivering humanitarian and resilience building interventions. These include: emergency food aid and veterinary services, community-managed disaster risk reduction, holistic natural resource management, pastoral field schools and ‘Do No Harm’ principles, as well as employing livelihood diversification to improve food and nutrition security to enhance resilience to drought.
VSFG supports gender mainstreaming and strengthens governance systems to enhance equity in distribution of resources at household levels as well as public resources between national and county governments.
VSFG continues to train communities and government staff on social audit and advocacy in order to promote inclusivity and accountability at all levels of development.
Every year, more than 15 million people worldwide receive a post-bite vaccination against rabies. An estimated 99% of human cases of rabies virus is transmitted by domesticated dogs. About 40% of people bitten by a suspected rabid animals are children under 15 years, (WHO, 2016). In Africa, too, dog bites and scratches are the most common cause of rabies infections in humans. The cost associated with post-exposure prophylaxis in humans is high and exceeds the cost of rabies control in animals through dog vaccinations; hence focus should be given to control and elimination of the disease.
In Kenya, rabies is among the top five priority zoonotic diseases and is estimated to cause 2,000 deaths annually. In an effort to control rabies menace, Kenya has embraced a multi-sectoral and collaborative approach aiming at the full elimination of human rabies, conducts continuous vaccination campaigns and also mobilizes all stakeholders to undertake annual rabies vaccination of dogs and cats during World Rabies Day.
Vétérinaires sans Frontières Germany has been partnering with Talek Veterinary Services (TVS), a private veterinary service provider in Narok County that has been working in rabies control since 2010. The majority of county residents are pastoralists who keep dogs for protection of their livestock and consequently are prone to bites from rabid animals.
VSFG and TVS have been conducting regular vaccination campaigns which have been running very successfully. In 2015/2016 the organization vaccinated 11,944 cats and dogs in Narok county, and Kajiado West & South Sub county. To mark World Rabies Day 2016, VSFG teamed up with Kenyan veterinarians, conservationists, the Narok County Government, local businesses, and the community and vaccinated domestic dogs and cats in Enonkishu Conservancy and the town of Emarti in Masai Mara.
To mark World Rabies Day 2016, VSFG teamed up with Kenyan veterinarians, conservationists, the Narok County Government, local businesses, and the community and vaccinated domestic dogs and cats in Enonkishu Conservancy and the town of Emarti in Masai Mara.
Teams of veterinarians and members of the local community walked from one home to another to vaccinate as many domestic dogs as possible. The vaccines used on this campaign were donated by Serengeti Health initiative through VSFG and Enonkishu conservancy. Owners of vaccinated dogs and cats were issued with certificates for documenting purposes. A total of 181 dogs and 33 cats were vaccinated and some were also treated for injuries.