Tanzania: Outreach Clinic on Likoma Island

Tanzania: Outreach Clinic on Likoma Island

Wherever there is a need for veterinary care, our expert teams go.

So, where to next? Likoma Island, the larger of two inhabited islands in Lake Malawi, in East Africa.

It was an 8-day outreach mission to sterilise and vaccinate as many of the island’s cats and dogs as possible. But first, the dedicated and adventurous team of four veterinary experts – three vets and one vet nurse – had to get there.

Equipped with catching nets, animal cages, darting pistols, and a huge amount of medical supplies, the team set off for the 36-hour-long journey across land and lake to reach the island. For the last leg of the journey, they boarded the Illala ferry, which has been operating between the Lake’s islands and the mainland since 1951.

From the moment they arrived, it was all hands on deck to set up the clinic, meet with the Island's officials as well as advertise our free services to local pet owners.

The team at Green Safaris, a local accommodation provider, supported the project by sponsoring our food, accommodation and ferry transportation, managing the advertising, and even lending a hand in the clinic. Without their kind support, this mission to help animals in need would have not been possible.

For eight long days in the extreme heat, the team worked tirelessly to sterilise cats and dogs, administer rabies vaccinations, and treat any wounds.

Pet owners of all ages arrived at the clinic with their pets in their arms or on a leash. For many of them, this was the first sterilisation clinic they’d seen and the first veterinary care their animals had ever received. Everyone was interested, excited, and extremely grateful for the work our team was doing.

One of the patients presented to the clinic was a dog with an old snare wound to its paw. The injury had gone untreated and the string was still attached to the limb. The team carefully removed the string, cleaned the area, and provided the owner with the treatment of antibiotics and pain relief medication.

Another dog arrived at the clinic with its tail cut off. It had sadly been attacked with a panga knife (a “big knife”). The team was able to amputate the rest of the tail, suture the wound shut, and provide the owner with instructions and medications to help the animal’s injury heal.

In total, the team had managed to sterilise 107 animals (18 cats and 89 dogs) as well as vaccinated 256.

Despite the heat, the long days, and at times the difficult conditions, it was a very rewarding experience for everyone involved.

Does this sound like your kind of adventure? You can help us treat animals who may have never received veterinary care by volunteering on one of our trips. You’ll join trained vets and vet nurses from all around the world who just like you, want to travel, meet like-minded people, and most of all, make a difference for animals in need.

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