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KWS receives veterinary clinic vehicles from Wildlife Trust
Date Published: 05 May, 2014
In a bid to devolve veterinary services to the field, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) has once again donated two mobile veterinary units (MVU) to Kenya Wildlife Service. The launch of the Southern Conservation Area Mobile Veterinary Unit (SCA-MVU) and hand over of Nairobi Veterinary clinic vehicle was done at KWS headquarters on April 30, 2014.
The SCA-MVU is the 4th KWS MVU supported by DSWT out of the 6 MVU operating in the country. The SCA-MVU will be based in Amboseli National Park and will cover SCA as well as parts of Tsavo ecosystem where it will be supplementing Tsavo MVU which is already overwhelmed by clinical cases.
The customized land cruiser for the Nairobi veterinary clinic is designed for veterinary work to ferry personnel, equipment, drugs and samples under refrigeration. It will be used exclusively for attendance of clinical interventions and disease outbreaks in Nairobi and the surrounding areas.
In 2003, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust supported the operationalization of the first mobile veterinary unit in the country which is based in Tsavo. After that the Trust supported another two MVUs, one covering Maasai Mara region and based in Maasai Mara that commenced operations in 2007 and the other covering Eastern Conservation Area based in Meru National Park that commenced operations last year.
The three MVUs have attended to over 1000 elephant cases, over 50 rhino cases and numerous other species of wildlife, all which could have had slow painful deaths as a result of human-inflicted injuries.
The concept of devolving veterinary services was conceptualized in 1994 but could not be implemented due to lack of funds. The realization of a partnership between Kenya Wildlife Service and David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust ten years ago has made this possible. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust provides financial and equipment support while KWS provides technical support.
While receiving the donations, Acting KWS Director General William Kiprono expressed his gratitude to David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and urged other stakeholders to join KWS conservation efforts by extended donations to the organization. He further urged the public to offer information that will help in apprehending poachers who are killing the country’s wildlife.
During the vehicles handover, Angela Sheldrick from DSWT, explained the technicality of the vehicles to the Acting Director General , senior KWS officers, DSWT officials, KWS staff present and media personnel.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has also committed itself to raise funds to support procurement of specialized equipment for the veterinary diagnostic laboratory. The equipment will improve immunological and molecular diagnostic capacity of the lab hence improving disease diagnosis and pathogen detection.