Tariq Azam

Epidemiological Study Of Major Haalth Problems In Nomadic Herds Of Camel In Cistrict Bhawalanagar (Punjab) - 2013

Pakistan is home to pastoralist since centuries. Present study was based on epidemiological survey of major health related problems in nomadic herds of camel in district Bhawalnagar. This district is one of camel rich districts of Punjab. Cross sectional survey on major health problems was conducted through a close ended questionnaire.
Twelve major health problems were selected that are common in herds of camel. Camels were categorized in three age groups: <4 years, 4-10 years and >10 years. Ranking of health problems gave following results: calf diarrhea 19.6%, tick infestation 17.2%, mange and gastrointestinal parasites 12.5%, trypanosomiasis 10% and pneumonia 8.8%. Further investigation presented following picture: calf diarrhea, mange and pneumonia were problems of <4 year age group. Trypanosomiasis and gastrointestinal parasites were problems of >10 year age group. Tick infestation was the problem of 4-10 year age group. Nasal bots and sudden deaths were problems of > 10 year age group. This ranking was based on age, sex, mortality and case fatality. P-values were also found out by correlating different parameters. These values were collected separately for the camels of Rangers. There was significant difference in the values of camels of Rangers and nomads. Rangers camels had less health problems due to better managemental practices.
One part of questionnaire was based on managemental practices in nomadic herds of camel. Investigation of managemental practices gave following results: 60% herds had herd size of 11-20 camels, 37.6% herds of camel were kept along livestock, 58.3% herds had Marrecha breed, 56.7% herds had nomadic production system, 92.9% herds had feeding pattern of grazing, 58.3% adopted seasonal migratory pattern, 91.3% herds did not adopt vaccination and quarantine practices, 91.3% adopted ethno-veterinary practices and 58.3% herds had no access to modern veterinary facilities. Correlations were found out between different parameters and p-values came to be significant.
Third part of study was on detection of gastrointestinal parasites. Direct sedimentation and centrifugal floatation techniques were used for this purpose. 166 fecal samples were tested for gastrointestinal parasites and 90 (54.2%) samples came to be positive. Five types of gastrointestinal parasites were detected with following ratio: Emeria sp. 18.1%, Fasciola sp. 8.4%, Trichuris sp. 8.4%, Capillaria sp. 4.2% and Marshallagia sp. 15.1%. Female adult group had the highest percentage of parasites 46.3% followed by male young group 33%. Chi-square was used to find out association between different variables and P-values were calculated.
Nomadic herders of study area are earning their living by rearing and selling camels. This area has great potential for camel farming due to its unique physiogeography. There is dire need to encourage the local nomads by facilitating them by provision of veterinary health cover, better marketing facilities, and training of manpower for breeding techniques. Government interventions for the welfare of this animal can be much fruitful in terms of camel research and systematic production. This action will not only help in improving the shortage of meat, milk but also will elevate the socio-economic conditions of local nomads.

Department of Epidemiology & Public Health


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