The survey on health among livestock in communal areas has thus far collected serum samples from 4 000 cattle and 2 000 goats in the Caprivi, Kavango, Kunene, Omusati and Oshikoto regions.
The survey, that started in May 2011 and runs until April 2013, is part of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA-N) funded programmes on livestock support.
The programme 'Sero-epidemiological and Parasite Survey in Livestock in the Northern Communal Areas of Namibia', still has six months remaining to achieve the targets and deliverables, according to Dr Rainer Hassel, the chairperson of the Namibian Veterinary Association. The samples collected thus far are for both the cold dry season and the hot season, Hassel said at a workshop in Windhoek yesterday where he gave an overview of the activities during the seven months under review.
The project was implemented in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) and the Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS).
Activities which still have to be completed include finishing the sampling process, including sheath scrapings for eastern Caprivi, the publishing of the results, the completion of the data base and sample inventory and the final report and review workshop.
He mentioned the fact that the training programme for animal health technicians was completed ahead of schedule.
The training of six animal health technicians, including one female of the Eenhana State Veterinary Office was conducted by Dr Hassel.
Eleven animal health technicians, including two females from the Oshana and Oshikoto regions also received training at the Ondangwa State Veterinary Office, while seven technicians, including one female, received training at the Rundu State Veterinary Office.
Seven technicians, including one female from the Kunene Region also received training at the Opuwo State Veterinary Office. The theoretical component was based on the 'Manual for Animal Health Technicians' and covered the topics of disease investigation protocols, the diagnostic tool kit, selected sampling techniques and veterinary necropsy.
A total of 3 517 bovine serum samples and 2 054 caprine serum samples were collected from the five regions under review. A total of 3 740 bovine faecal samples were also collected during the hot dry season and 4 198 samples during the cold dry season.
In the rainy season, 3 329 samples were collected. Caprine faecal samples numbered 2 068 in the hot season, 2 105 in the cold dry season and 1 390 in the rainy season.