Camel health, zoonoses & food safety in Kenya
The paper “Camel health management and pastoralists’ knowledge and information on zoonoses and food safety risks in Isiolo County, Kenya” by Peter Obimbo Lamuka et al, published in Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice 2017 7:20, looks into Somali, Garra and Boran pastoralists’ management of camel health and implications for zoonoses and food safety in Isiolo County in northern Kenya. The study, using semi-structured questionnaires and interviews, covered 150 households that live mainly from camel-keeping, 15 agroveterinary shops, 15 community-based animal health workers (CBAHWs) and 10 veterinary officers.
It was found that the pastoralists self-medicated their camels and other livestock; this can lead to over- or underdosing or wrong drug use. Their sources of knowledge and information about veterinary drugs were experience, NGOs and CBAHWs. Government and private veterinary officers played a minimum role. The constraints in buying the drugs were their expensiveness and limited accessibility and a lack of cash. Antibiotics used were (in order of percentage of pastoralists using them) adamycine, ampicilline, penicillin, tetracycline, amoxylin and penstrip. Public health risk factors included the presence of drug residues in camel products and development of resistant zoonotic organisms/diseases. It was concluded that current camel health management has serious negative implications for public health and food safety, and hence for the camel product trade.