CJTF-HOA Promotes Herd Health In Djibouti
1 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Lt. Col. Erica Himes, Southern European Task Force Africa (SETAF-AF) Herd Health Vaccination Engagement veterinary officer in charge, and Dr. Elmi Ali Ahmed, a local veterinarian, examine a herd of goats in the village of Negad in Djibouti on Jan. 29, 2024. The Herd Health Vaccination Engagement sought to provide medical care for local goats, camels, and other livestock in the Djiboutian villages of Negad, Chabelly, and Ali Oune. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Jalen Miller) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Jalen Miller) VIEW ORIGINAL
CJTF-HOA Promotes Herd Health In Djibouti
2 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Sgt. Russell Helma, Southern European Task Force Africa Herd Health Vaccination Engagement non-commissioned officer in charge, gives a medical demonstration for a group of volunteers in Negad, Djibouti on Jan. 29, 2023. Helma was instrumental in the success of the HHVE mission and assisted in both teaching proper vaccination procedure and engaging with local Djiboutian villagers. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Jalen Miller) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Jalen Miller) VIEW ORIGINAL
CJTF-HOA Promotes Herd Health In Djibouti
3 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A Djiboutian woman passes her goat to Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) service members in Negad, Djibouti on Jan 29, 2024. CJTF-HOA service members teamed up with the Southern European Task Force - Africa for the Herd Health Vaccination Engagement event to provide medical care to livestock in three villages across Djibouti. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Jalen Miller) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Jalen Miller) VIEW ORIGINAL
CJTF-HOA Promotes Herd Health In Djibouti
4 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Lt. Col. Erica Himes, Southern European Task Force Africa Herd Health Vaccination Engagement veternarian officer in charge, sprays a herd of local goats with wound spray in Negad, Djiobuti on Jan. 29, 2023. Himes led a team of SETAF-AF and Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa volunteers in providing healthcare for local livestock in villages around Djiobuti. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Jalen Miller) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Jalen Miller) VIEW ORIGINAL
CJTF-HOA Promotes Herd Health In Djibouti
5 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa service members prepare to vaccinate goats in Negad, a local village in Djibouti on Jan 29, 2024. CJTF-HOA service members participated in the Herd Health Vaccination Engagement effort to prevent the spread of the PPR virus. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Jalen Miller) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Jalen Miller) VIEW ORIGINAL
CJTF-HOA Promotes Herd Health In Djibouti
6 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A goat stares through a hole in the fence during the Herd Health Vaccination Engagement at Ali Oune, Djibouti Jan. 31, 2023. The Herd Health Vaccination Engagement effort took place across the three villages of Negad, Chabelly, and Ali Oune. (Department of Defense photo by Sgt. Joshua Durant) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Joshua Durant) VIEW ORIGINAL
CJTF-HOA Promotes Herd Health In Djibouti
7 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Katherine Scott, Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa medical logistics non-commissioned officer in charge, calls over a herd of goats during the Herd Health Vaccination Engagement in the village of Ali Oune, Djioubti on Jan. 31, 2023. The Herd Health Vaccination Engagement aimed to provide medical care and the PPR vaccine to herds of camels, goats, and donkeys in villages across Djibouti. (Department of Defense photo by Sgt. Joshua Durant) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Joshua Durant) VIEW ORIGINAL
CJTF-HOA Promotes Herd Health In Djibouti
8 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Lt. Col. Erica Himes, Southern European Task Force Africa (SETAF-AF) Herd Health Vaccination Engagement veterinary officer in charge, and Dr. Elmi Ali Ahmed, a local veterinarian, examine a small group of camels in the village of Ali Oune, Djibouti. The Herd Health Vaccination Engagement aimed to provide medical care and the PPR vaccine to herds of camels, goats, and donkeys in villages across Djibouti. (Department of Defense photo by Sgt. Joshua Durant) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Joshua Durant) VIEW ORIGINAL
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A team of service members rush out of their vehicles carrying containers filled to the brim with needles, medications, gloves, and a variety of veterinarian essentials. They set up shop in the center of a village and open their collapsible steel fences for the incoming swarms of livestock.

A scene that came to be after two years of planning resulted in Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) service members and U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF) Civil Affairs personnel teamed up to help local villagers and veterinarian personnel provide medical treatment to livestock in the villages of Negad, Chabelly, and Ali Oune. The Herd Health Vaccination Engagement (HHVE) aims to provide Peste des Pestits Ruminants (PPR) vaccinations, deworming agents, vitamins, wound spraying, and general medical treatment for a variety of Djiboutian herd animals including camels, goats, sheep, and donkeys.

The PPR virus, also known as the goat plague, is a highly contagious viral disease found in goats and sheep throughout the Middle East, Asia, and large regions of Africa. The vaccine injected into the livestock works to prevent the spread of the PPR virus, which could potentially kill anywhere between 30-70% of affected herds on the continent.

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Erica Himes, SETAF-AF HHVE veterinarian officer in charge, led the small team of volunteer veterinarians from Jan. 29 - Jan 31st, 2024.

“With our vaccination engagement we’re getting close to seeing a thousand animals every day,” said Himes. “The World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization are wanting to eradicate the PPR disease by 2030, so this vaccine campaign is really important if we hope to help these animals,” said Himes.

Each day, military personnel corralled the farm animals within their enclosure and one after the other, each animal was vaccinated, given vitamins, and marked with a harmless paint marker to track the vaccinated animals. Once every animal in their collapsible enclosure is treated and marked they utilize their wound spray compound to treat any cuts or damages the animals may have had before clearing the enclosure and restarting the process with the next herd of livestock.

After each day and each village visit, the number of CJTF-HOA volunteers increased. Service members from a variety of sections volunteered to support the herd health mission and help the local community.

Dr. Elmi Ali Ahmed, a local Djiboutian veterinarian with the Ministry of Agriculture, worked alongside the service members and expressed his gratitude for the contributions of the U.S. military when it came to the vaccination effort. Through a translator, he described the importance of the role that vaccination and the medical care provided by the U.S. will play in helping livestock remain healthy during the cool season in Djibouti.

“Together we did something very important, the people here appreciate the help the U.S. military has provided us and the work we do will help keep our animals healthy and our community growing,” said Dr. Elmi.

U.S. Army Capt. Jermel Richmond, the SETAF-AF Civil Affairs HHVE planning officer in charge, coordinated the event with the Ministry of Agriculture in Djibouti and worked with service members to ensure that their mission worked to both benefit the local population and promote collaboration between components and nations. Richmond expressed his gratitude for the expertise of both Himes and non-commissioned officer in charge U.S. Army Sgt. Russell Helma when it came to educating volunteers on proper veterinarian procedures. Richmond also expressed appreciation to the surplus of volunteers who signed on to help with the project.

“I cannot express how thankful I am for everyone who signed on to help out Civil Affairs with this project and help us help our local population,” said Richmond. “A win is a win, whether we inject one sheep or a thousand it’s all about doing what we can to help out our local populace and work together with our host nation,” said Richmond.

About CJTF-HOA

Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa conducts operations to enhance partner nation capacity, promote regional stability, dissuade conflict, and protect U.S. and partner interests.

About SETAF-AF

SETAF-AF provides U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Europe and Africa a dedicated headquarters to synchronize Army activities in Africa and scalable crisis-response options in Africa and Europe.

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