Our vets, Kate Shervell and Andy Gibson are in Tanzania supporting animal welfare. This is Andy's blog.
Vetting on the edge of a Tanzanian National Park – it doesn’t get much better than this. As my flight descended towards Kilimanjaro Airport I peered through my starboard window at the towering peak of Mount Meru, looking over to the port windows I could see the even more colossal Mount Kilimanjaro, with her snow peaked cap towering above the clouds. I knew I was arriving at a place like nowhere else on earth.
I was picked up by Jens, who runs the charity Mbwa wa Africa. On the drive from the airport we exchanged our experiences of work in animal welfare and the various challenges faced when working in the field. My collegeue and fellow vet, Kate Shervell, arrived later in the afternoon and we headed over to set up what would be our clinic for the next two weeks.
We’d brought various WVS donated supplies with us and we set about planning with the team how the clinic would run. The following day our first patients arrived, a beautifully friendly female dog brought on a lead by her owner, closely pursued by her admirer, a young fanciful male. Little did he know that his pursuit of passion would soon result in his castration!
Things got off to a steady start as more local breed dogs were brought in. Kate focused on training the staff in good preparation practices whilst I operated. The focus of the pilot drive is to train the staff, gain an understanding of local logistics and project management and benefit the dogs through prevention of unwanted puppies and improved health.
Walking out of the clinic doors at the end of our second day and seeing the sunset behind Mt Meru, I was looking forward to a busy two weeks and the possibility of building an ongoing project in the Meru region of North Tanzania.