U.S. Army Civil Affairs East Africa Soldiers partnered with the Djiboutian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries to conduct a veterinary civic action program (VETCAP) March 16, 2022, in a small Djiboutian village, Hindi.
The team treated the goats and sheep for intestinal parasites and gave them a multivitamin injection, oral de-wormer and sprayed them for ecto-parasites. Additionally, animals with infections or upper respiratory diseases were treated with the appropriate antibiotics, ticks were collected for disease surveillance testing and stool samples were taken for intestinal parasite testing.
“By partnering with the Djiboutian Minister of Agriculture and their veterinarian, we were able to provide these services to people that would not have otherwise gotten them,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Darrin Olson, 353rd Civil Affairs Command Functional Specialty Veterinarian Team veterinarian. “If these medications would not have been administered to their animals, some of them probably would not have lived, and the animals do mean everything to [the families here].”
Olson further added that the animals are the livelihood of many Djiboutians and often the means to shaping their future. The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries veterinarian, Dr. Mahdi Osman, worked with Olson directly at the site to administer the medications and antibiotics.
“His interaction was establishing and solidifying more of that relationship we have,” said U.S. Army Sgt. JarieAnna DeAlmeida, 403rd Civil Affairs Battalion animal care technician. “He knows that in the future he can come to us for help; he can trust that we will come through with what we say we’re going to do and help people.”
DeAlmeida added that trust is crucial to improving the relationship between the local Djiboutians and Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa and Djibouti, located on Camp Lemonnier. With the combined efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries and the civil affairs soldiers, approximately 1,000 animals were treated.
“To be able to bring these services to these remote locations where the people that live there and are really appreciative of what we’re trying to do to help them makes this mission to me personally, worthwhile doing,” said Olson. “It’s something that we hope we can partner with the Minister of Agriculture in the future to do more of these veterinary and herd health engagements.”
According to veterinarian report, the animals were in good health and the visit stood as an example of the strength between the U.S. and Djibouti.