Walk-in cow clinics in Kenya: organized mayhem but a huge success

Veterinary students Angelina and Krystina with some of the local children at the Mbaaria walk-in clinic. The stickers were a big hit! 

By Krystina Lewis, Ashley Kroyer, and Angelina Gorrill, AVC/UPEI senior vet students

On February 1st and February 6th, the Farmers Helping Farmers veterinary group held walk-in clinics in Mbaaria and Buuri. Despite some rain mid-morning in Mbaaria and the stresses associated with the first walk-in clinic in Buuri, both clinics were a huge success. Over 400 cows were dewormed and over 80 cows were treated by the veterinarians and veterinary students at each location. Many farmers graze their cattle on pastures which exposes them to parasites and tick-borne diseases. Deworming and tick-prevention is therefore essential for these animals. 

A short time-lapse video of the deworming station in Mbaaria where Kenya vet students Evans and Jacob and PEI vet students Krystina, Ashley, and Angelina work closely with Kenyan farmers to deworm the cattle.

Understanding how to move individual and groups of cattle is critical for these walk-in clinics.

Moving cattle as per the image below will help to ensure that the process is less stressful to the cow. By standing in the area marked “A”, the cow will walk forward and by standing in the area marked “B”, the cow will stop moving.

Cows will also follow other cows so this method also applies to moving groups as well.

These clinics attract many members of the community so keeping the cattle calm is important for the safety of the veterinary team, the farmers, the community members, and of course, the cows.

The Farmers Helping Farmers veterinary team including University of Nairobi students Alube and Michelle, after completing the walk-in clinic in Buuri. 

Cows will also follow other cows so this method also applies to moving groups as well.

These clinics attract many members of the community, so keeping the cattle calm is important for the safety of the veterinary team, the farmers, the community members, and of course, the cows. 

The Farmers Helping Farmers veterinary team, including University of Nairobi students Evans and Jacob, after completing the walk-in clinic in Mbaaria. 

Some of you may remember Ashley from previous Farmers Helping Farmers blogs as she spent 3 months during the summer of 2018 in Naari, but this is the first time Angelina and Krystina have been to Kenya.

It’s been great having Ashley around to help the other veterinary students with learning both Swahili, one of the national languages in Kenya, as well as Kimeru, the local language in Meru County.

Knowing how to greet and introduce ourselves (even if it doesn’t always come out properly!) has brought smiles to the seminar groups. It also supports working together as a team at big events, such as these walk-in clinic

Ng’ombe – the Swahili word for cow. 

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