Camel health problems affecting milk production in Garissa
A total of about 3 million camels are reared in Kenya about 1.7 of which are reared in Northeastern province. Garissa county alone has a population of 234,683 camels. They provide a source of milk and income for about 2 million pastoralists especially during the droughts when other livestock die or are unthrifty. Data from Ministry of livestock development (MOLD) (2007) states that camels are the most important dairy animals in Kenya ASALs producing approximately 220 million litres of milk annually. This amount of milk is greatly reduced by mastitis. Camels are adapted to the arid and semi arid lands (ASAL), but their full milking potential is affected by udder infections especially sub-clinical mastitis A cross-sectional survey of prevalence of camel mastitis was undertaken in Garissa county and 130 pastoralists interviewed and 112 samples collected and analyzed. The purpose of this study is to identify the most common pathogens responsible for clinical and sub-clinical mastitis in camels under traditional management in Garissa County, Northern Kenya. Gram positive cocci (Staphylococcus and Streptococcus species) were the main pathogens isolated from camel milk samples in addition to environmental coliforms (Escherichia coli and Klebsiella/Enterobacter species); The preliminary results of this study showed that subclinical mastitis is prevalent in dromedary camels of Garissa county and that Gram-positive cocci are the dominant mastitis pathogens isolated.