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Ethno-Veterinary Medicinal Plants of the Lake Victoria Basin: A Bioprospection

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The main objective of this study was to identify and document plants traditionally used for treating livestock diseases and conditions in Lake Victoria basin of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. In Kenya, the study sites were located in Kendu Bay, Kano Plains, Suri and Yala wetlands; in Tanzania in the districts of Missungi, Magu, Sengerma, Geita, Ukerewe and Ilemela, while in Uganda in the district of Rakai. The study utilised employed participatory rural appraisal tools, mainly focus group discussions and key informant interviews. A wide range of plants with veterinary medicinal uses were identified and documented. The highest number of plants was enlisted in Kenya (81), followed by Tanzania (50) and lastly Uganda (24). Examples of plants mentioned were Xylopia aethiopica for treating East Coast Fever, Phragmites mauritianus for treating retained placenta, Hoslundia opposita for treating snake bites and Cassia occidentalis for treating internal parasites. Some plants were common in all the three countries, while others were only mentioned in particular countries. Other livestock diseases and conditions traditionally treated included diarrhoea, pneumonia, eye infections, heart water, babesiosis, mastitis, snake bites and wounds. The study points out the need for validating and integrating the use of traditional medicinal plants in community-based animal health care delivery systems in the East African region.


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