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Press Release
MCA Namibia funded animal clinic saves young bull from near-death
15 Oct 2014

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The five State Veterinary Offices (SVOs) funded by the Millennium Challenge Account Namibia (MCA-N) Compact programme at Eenhana, Omuthiya, Okakarara, Epukiro and Outapi are already saving lives of animals brought in by local farmers.

At Outapi, a young tollie (castrated bull) that was brought to the clinic on its deathbed by its owner three weeks ago is now fully recovered after being treated at the new animal clinic. MCA-N CEO Penny Akwenye was proud of the living proof that MCA-N’s investment into the SVOs was money well spent. “This animal was almost dead when the owner brought it in and now it’s almost ready to go home. We urge farmers in the surrounding areas to bring their sick animals to these clinics,” she said.

Omusati Region State Veterinarian, Dr. Peter Shimbode, said when the animal was brought to the Outapi SVO it was in a terrible condition and could not stand. The bull and six of its siblings were stolen and savagely de-horned by the thieves in an attempt to hide their identity. The six other animals died as result of the inflicted injuries. “The owner decided to drive this one bull 237 km from Uuvudhiya to try and save its life. The animal arrived at Outapi veterinary clinic with a swollen frontal head due to abscess built up as a result of the unprofessional de-horning,” explained Dr. Shimbode.

The animal was treated and fed at Outapi for over two weeks and has fully recovered to be released to its owner for a nominal fee. “Soon he will be going home to reunite with his herd. We have advised the owner to ear-tag all his animals and register them with NamLITS (Namibia Livestock Identification and Traceability System) to avoid such thefts,” added Dr. Shimbode.

On October 15 and 17, the last two SVOs at Outapi and Eenhana were handed over to the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF), John Mutorwa, by MCA-N. As part of its objective to advance Namibia’s veterinary infrastructure in the underserved areas to improve animal health and improve livestock production, MCA-N invested N$ 98 million in the construction of these state-of-the-art facilities. The Namibian government provided N$ 6 million for the project.

Farmers expressed relief at the establishment of the clinics in their areas, which they said will save the lives of their cattle as well as other livestock as help is now at their doorstep. The new clinics come each with animal treatment areas, offices, a laboratory, meeting rooms, a sterilization room, post-mortem room, freezer and cold rooms, as well as kennels and animal holding pens.

Minister Mutorwa hailed them as a giant step towards bringing services closer to the previously disadvantaged livestock farmers. “As government we give appreciation to MCA Namibia and the American government for availing the funds to build these modern State Veterinary Offices, especially this one in the Omusati Region which has the highest population of cattle in the NCAs,” he said at the opening of the Outapi clinic.

The Minister appealed to veterinary personnel to fully utilise the facilities for the benefit of the communities and warned against abuse of the SVOs. “Veterinary staff must protect these facilities from vandalism. These new centres must help us as a nation to move forward in line with our Vision 2030 mission,” said Mutorwa.

 

  Omusati State Veterinarian Dr. Peter Shimbode with the saved bull.

 

The Minister also emphasised that the new SVOs would help the Ministry to implement the policy on eradication of trans-boundary animal diseases and have the areas north of the Veterinary Cordon Fence recognised as being free from Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). Livestock farmers were full of praise to the MAWF and MCA-N for making the veterinary clinics a reality.

Tate Lazarus Kornelius, from the Ruacana Farmers Association, said farmers from his area no longer have to travel 240 km to Ondangwa to have their livestock treated. Efraim Weyulu, a senior headman of the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority, said that gone are the days when veterinary officials conduct operations on animals under trees. “We now have modern and well equipped facilities to do this job,” he stated.

Tobias Emvula, President of the Namibian National Farmers Union (NNFU) is convinced that the SVOs will help improve the condition of livestock and that the animals will fetch better prices on the market. “We thank MCA and MCC for listening to our plight,” said Emvula. Ephraim Nambinga, from the Omusati Regional Farmers Union, described the handover of the Outapi SVO as a “historic day”.


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