Helping people to help themselves

The second workshop of VETS UNITED in Tanzania has come to a successful end. Read about our impressions from a lively course, the educational mobile clinic and the interesting visit to the Maasai people.

To our delight we could not only welcome German Dr Tina Lang to this second course again as volunteer veterinary surgeon but also all those 20 students of the College for Husbandry at Arusha, who had already participated in the first course last year. Also five new participants joined in! Thanks to Johnson Lyimo, the director of our partner MAWO (Meru Animal Welfare Organization), again we had the support of two staff members of the Kenyan Donkey Sanctuary. So we were able to divide the large group into four units and thus work far more efficiently.

LEARNING, WHAT TO DO

In the theory lessons we repeated, deepened and expanded the contents of the last workshop: clinical examinations, viral diseases, infections, bacteria, antibiotics and analgesia (painlessness), rabies and anaesthesia. In the afternoons we used the well-known donkey-dummy for practical training: we taught how to put up a holster, how to place a saddle and blankets and how to harness a donkey to a cart. For the practical training of surgical sewing, vaccinations and neutering, we used pictures of the animals drawn on large fabric banners. So the students could do dry runs first before starting to treat real animals later.
And then all was ready: Within the scope of a mobile neutering and vaccination clinic that took place in a small village lying out of the MAWO territory, and under the guidance of two experienced vets the students could prove their veterinary knowledge for the first time. One team prepared animals for operation, fixed them for surgery, filled in the anaesthesia forms with details about the medicines administered, the time of the operation, the pulse and heart rates of the animals. In the meantime, the other team vaccinated about 150 donkeys and de-wormed more than 80. The student teams rotated, so that each member assisted and watched both the castration surgery and vaccinations plus de-worming. At the end of that day we had vaccinated 250 dogs against rabies, de-wormed 80 donkeys and neutered ten dogs.

In order to prepare the students for the regional conditions in their home country, on the last day of the workshop we organized a visit to the Maasai. This ethnic group lives in the steppe in huts made from clay, far from the towns. Donkeys, cattle, goats and sheep - they all have their special significance and serve an important purpose. Together with the students we vaccinated and treated the Maasai’s animals.

We are very proud of this big success and extremely satisfied with the dedicated participants of this workshop. Our mission will go on - for the sake and the future of the animals and the people in Tanzania.

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