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Somalia: camel sickness

18-07-1996 News Release 96/28

An emergency programme run by the ICRC and the Somali Red Crescent Society has helped save thousands of camels belonging to nomads in the Nogal region near Garoe. At the end of May the camels were found to be suffering from a virulent form of pneumonia; owners were losing money as they had to stop selling milk, while the price of medicine tripled on the local market. Up to 70 per cent of herds were affected.

The ICRC has made a special effort to plan its assistance with a view to the long term and to avoid supplying medicine directly, which would disrupt the local economy. Following an agreement with local leaders and traders, the ICRC undertook to supply drugs at a subsidized price. The programme was administered through the Somali Red Crescent, and Somali vets were employed to advise owners on treatment. An interim assessment in June showed that the disease had been brought under control and that the animals were responding well to the treatment.