From the foothills of Northern Thailand, the town of Hang-Dong in Chiang Mai, Chok (male dog who had his left forelimb amputation), Julia (female dog who underwent entropion surgery), Sweety (who had a ventral abdominal skin reconstructive surgery) and many other animals say hello and thank you to WVS Thailand!
WVS Thailand has so far been the best rotation I have ever had. It was all together a different experience for me. Eight years ago, I had visited Thailand as a tourist but this time it was for my work place. The work was similar to other places, but in a different country and with a completely different set of staff. Dr. Giacomo, Mr. Ian, Fon, WVS Vets and the entire WVS team were very friendly, humble and welcoming.May 2018 marked my first week at the ITC, as a trainer, mostly just giving tips to final year veterinary students from Australia, who were in their second week of training and who now had an idea of how to perform a spay or a castrate. The following two weeks of my roster I was at the shelter along with Dr. Luk and Dr. Pim. It was interesting to learn the principles of laser therapy for the treatment of wounds and as a new technique of physiotherapy for treatment of physically lame companion animals which was used at the shelter quite often. I also liked their online web programme which helped the staff to feed in and update daily cases seen at the shelter.
Towards the end of the month, apart from regular training and shelter work, I also got an opportunity to be a part of Mission Rabies’ Thailand campaign and a few mobile outreach clinics. It was my first experience as part of a Mission Rabies project. We targeted Mae Rim Municipality for caring out our vaccination drives, which is located north of Chiang Mai city. Here I got to meet and work with Dr. Amy from the UK and Mr. Praveen from India. For the total of two weeks that this Mission Rabies programme was carried out, I spent my initial half in vaccination drives, followed by next week, where I monitored anesthesia for my Thai colleagues who were operating on close to 140 dogs and cats in just two weeks. During this Mission Rabies campaign, we had one of our WVS India team members, Dr. Amanda, visiting us. It was nice to have her around as company and she was there for two weeks. The second week of her stay in Thailand, which was immediately after the Mission Rabies project, we had an ABC Outreach project in Pai. To introduce, Pai is the most beautiful town located in northern most part of Thailand in the province of Mae Hong Son and is popular amongst tourists. WVS Thailand works in collaboration with a local charitable organization called Four-legged Friends. That week was like running a marathon of spaying/neutering (Spay-thon) amongst four WVS veterinarians (two Thai and two Indian). We managed to operate 129 dogs and cats during this outreach project in a period of one week. But this was not the end; I had more and more interesting things coming up!!
A week later, after we came back from Pai, we had our next ITC course starting. Again, I got the chance to be a supervising veterinarian for this wonderful batch of students from Australian universities and until now it has been the best batch I have supervised. During this course I got a chance to meet, interact, share my experiences as a veterinarian and learn from a few volunteers who were on board with us for the training. We had Dr. Sarah (Veterinarian) and Mrs. Nikki (Head Veterinary Nurse) working at Pilgrims veterinary practice in the U.K and Dr. Sara (Veterinarian) from Spain.
Soon after we got done with the International Surgical training course we had to head off to the next and my most awaited ABC outreach project at BLES (Boon Lott Elephant Sanctuary), in the province of Sukhothai (Central Thailand). It was again time for a Spay-thon but I was really looking forward to it. Three different veterinarians from three different nations, Thailand (Dr. Pim), Spain (Dr. Sara) and India (me) were operating. Here we managed to operate on 158 animals in just 3 days!! I would not have got an opportunity to be a part of BLES outreach project, had Mr. Ian and Dr. G not been so optimistic. I am a very fortunate intern vet, I must admit!
Yet again another week soon after the BLES outreach project was a week called “Cat Special Week”. We operated on around 130 cats, which were waiting to be neutered for a long time. It was another golden opportunity with a priceless experience which WVS had given me.
My WVS Thailand intern report wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the “Run for Dogs” Marathon. Initially running for 10km, I felt like it was a task; I was even little pessimistic about running that long. But when Dr. G could do a 26 km run, why can’t I run a mini marathon too as part of this charity run for fundraising for the amazing organization for which I work? This inspiration and WVS Thailand team’s invaluable support kept me going. I thank Dr. Ilona for giving me this platform to learn and enhance my skills. I am really grateful to Dr. G, Mr. Clarke, Ou, my cool Thai veterinary colleagues and the entire WVS Thailand staff for being hospitable, polite, supportive and caring. Looking forward to come back next year, with a better and broader horizon of knowledge as veterinarian. Last, but not the least, I thank Dr. Luke, Mr. Chris and the WVS team in the U.K, from the bottom of my heart, for all the notable hard work to keep WVS on the move and for giving me this moment of opportunity. I hope to serve WVS with all my knowledge and skills for the upcoming years.
Until next time,Dr. Sarasi Mirajkar