Veterináři bez hranic

Veterináři bez hranic ČR, o.p.s.; Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Tchéquie

2013 vaccination campaign

Field vaccination continues! In October 2013 we managed to go around Mt. Kulal again and vaccinate around 650 animals (mainly dogs and cats) and made short lectures to students of eight basic schools in the area (which in total represent an audience of more than 600!). None of this would be possibble without generous support of our financial partners (Vetcentum and Avenier are the ones to be highlighted here), our colleagues from VSF-Germany and of course local communities and partners in northern Kenya – dr. Stephen G. Mutahi (county director of Veterinary Services Marsabit), Maurice Ogom (Vet. Service Marsabit), our animal workers Rashid and Shukri and last but not least Moses, our driver.



The vaccination started traditionally in Gatab, a montane village situated just under the top of Mt. Kulal, about 1800 above sea leve. Gatab is an important center of pastoralists communities – there are several wells, two churches, school and a well equipped hospital. We also profitted from these meeting points when propagating the vaccination – we had a great opportunity to present the project not only in school but also in the church.

The need of post-exposure treatment in Gatab has raised. According to Joel, our partner from Gatab AIC hospital, this increase is probably not caused by higher incidence of rabies, but because of better awareness. This hypothesis is supported also by records of bite accidents, managed by our fellow Rashid. While few year ago most of the patients seeking PET did so because of having large bites or bites caused by very agressive dogs, nowadays even smaller wounds are receiving PET. And this is very good, because as far as we know, even small bites can cause the disease and deserve preventive treatment, since as soon as the clinical signs appear, rabies is impossibble to treat.

Gatab is a place where vaccination started in 2006, some of the dogs living there have been vaccinated allready several times. On the other hand, some owners are bringing new dog every year, explaining that their previous animal has been taken by leopard.


After Gatab the team shifts to Losikiriashi, a village at the eastern slopes of Mt. Kulal. The pickup, generously provided by VSF Germany, has troubles to pass the stony forest road, however, it is the only it is the only access road to this place. Rashid and Shukri, residents to Gatab, leave their families to assist throughout the vaccination. We stop in Losikiriashi only for several hours and continue downwards to Olturot, a village laying at the foot of the the mountains, in a desert area. Olturot is home to more than 800 people and livestock, especially camels are very abundant in this place. Several cases of suspect rabies in camels were reported to us in past years; fortunately, no such reports are occur this year. Together with Maurice we visit local school to make another short lecture about rabies.

The team spends alltogehter three days in Olturot, to give opportunity also to people bringing their dogs from far; it is not exceptional that pastoralists have to walk whole day to reach the vaccination point. While one part of the team vaccinates, the other goes ahead to Ngororoi and Arapal to announce the campaign.


At the fist sight Ngororoi looks like a very small settlement – just several huts, a church and a small school. Yet guessing from the number of students present in the school, the population of Ngororoi is not small but rahter scattered – many of them are living further away in the slopes of Mt. Kulal. As local teacher says, for many students the way to school is so long that they are not able to go every day and so they take it in turns – one day they go, the other day they stay at home helping with the household.


The last stop at the eastern side of Mt. Kulal is the village of Arapal. Here we are confronted with many reports of suspected rabid dogs. It is difficult to judge their real status just from the descriptions of their behavior. Exact laboratory diagnostics is a big challenge in these remote areas. In the first evening a man with a desperate face comes to the vaccinating point; his dog escaped just before they entered the village, after travelling to this place the whole day. He is given a leash and several reccommendations how to catch his dog. The second trial is succesful; he is bringing the dog again just in the last minutes before the team leaves the place.

After Arapal we take the northern road towards Lake Turkana. We vaccinate in fisherman villages at its shore – El Molo, Komote and Palo – and finalize in the town of Loiyangalani. Rabies has took its toll in these places in spring 2013 – several rabid dogs appeared and had bitten more than twenty people. Local people say that when these dogs were around, everybody was afraid to go out and did so only with a stick at hand. „The atmosphere was like in a war“ says Paris, health worker from Loiyangalani Health Centre, who recorded 32 patients requiring rabies post-exposure treatment since May.


From Loiyangalani the team moves towards south, with two vaccination stops on the way  - Larachi and Sarima. IN the evening we reach South Horr, a town in lush and green valley between Ol Donyo Mara and Mt. Ngyiro mountain ranges. Souht Horr and nearby Gurungu are big settlements and dogs are very abundant. We meet and speak to people from distant places such as Laisamis or Ngurunit and discuss the possibilities of extending the project also to these locations.

This year the vaccination practically ends in South Horr, yet on the way back to Marsabit we make a stop in Kargi, a desert town where rabies is also abundant – due to lack of time we manage to vaccinate only few animals of those which are present, but take it as a pilot phase for nex year. We all hope that more time and resources will be available next year.


  • patron of VSF-cz
  • patron of VSF-cz
  • patron of VSF-cz
  • 2018
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  • 20181124114634_64.jpg
  • 2018