Cyclone Chedza Intervention
In January and February 2015, Malawi, Mozambique, Reunion, Madagascar and Zimbabwe experienced an exceptionally heavy rainfall, exacerbated by tropical cyclone Chedza, which experts say had a humanitarian impact of 80 fatalities and an economic loss of $40 millions.
The heavy rains falling in most highlands resulted in water swelling in most of low laying areas in the country with the Lower Shire districts namely Nsanje and Chikwawa being the hard hit. In his state of the nation address President Peter Mutharika declared a national disaster when heavy rainstorms and floods hit 15 out of the 28 districts in Malawi namely; Chikwawa, Nsanje, Phalombe, Zomba, Rumphi, Karonga, Thyolo, Machinga, Mangochi, Ntcheu, Chiradzulu, Mulanje, Balaka, Salima and Blantyre. The Government of Malawi estimated 174,000 people have been displaced, 62 deaths and with 153 people still missing.
The swelling waters did not spare domestic animals such as chickens, goats and cattle which are a source of food and revenue for the people. The rains left behind a huge number of animal health problems, including pneumonia, wounds, lumpy skin disease and mastitis and foot rot, caused by water-logged soil. In wake of the resultant diseases after the floods our team and Ministry of Agriculture conducted mass drug administration animal health intervention in three of floods disaster hit southern region districts namely; Balaka, Machinga and Zomba to reduce the burden on farmers and raising hopes that they won’t lose their stock.
Dr Ssuna and his team extended veterinary attention to animals diagnosed with wounds, lameness (foo-rot), scours (diarrhoea) and those that were malnourished (emaciated). Chickens were also vaccinated against the deadly viral disease, Newcastle disease. The exercise greatly contributed to improved health status of animals that survived the torrential floods that swept crops including livestock injuring some in the process. The occasion also provided the platform for dissemination of information and communication messages on welfare and animal freedom to small scale livestock farmers and the public at large in the affected areas under Machinga Agriculture Development Division. Some of the assorted drugs include Oxyt-tetracycline, Pen step, Lvomectin, Fenbandozole, Beranil, Ex–it, Multi-Vitamin, syringes and needles among many others.
ALL CREATURES Country Director, Richard Ssuna said he was grateful for the support received from Humane Society International (HSI) to procure the drugs adding, all institutions are passionate about the welfare of animals.
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