Indian peacekeepers in Lebanon have conducted a week-long vaccination drive against goat plague in a town in the West Asian nation. UNIFIL’s (UN Interim Force in Lebanon) Indian Battalion (INDBATT) in coordination with the Lebanese Agriculture ministry conducted the vaccination drive in Halta, south- eastern Lebanon, during which 2,600 goats and sheep were vaccinated, according to information released by UNIFIL. Mayor of Kfar Chouba, Kassim el-Kadari, inaugurated the vaccination camp late last month which was also attended by INDBATT Commander Colonel Dhirendra Singh. The vaccination programme reached approximately 2,600 sheep and goats from all the 13 villages that come under the responsibility of UNIFIL Indian peacekeepers. INDBATT is also planning additional camps in the area. UNIFIL said over the last three months, INDBATT has treated approximately over 60,000 domestic animals within its area of responsibility. The veterinary assistance by the Indian Battalion has mostly benefited poor farmers and shepherds in the area. “Mutual trust and confidence between UNIFIL and the Lebanese people are the key to maintain peace and stability in south Lebanon, and build a prosperous future for its people,” it added. Goat plague is a viral disease affecting goats and sheep characterised by fever, sores in the mouth, diarrhoea and pneumonia.
As of June 2017, UNIFIL’s force consists of a total 10,583 peacekeepers from 40 troop-contributing countries, including 899 from India.