In June, a WVS veterinary team will be heading to Zomba in Malawi to work alongside Mission Rabies with a sterilisation, treatment and vaccination project, helping the fight against rabies and improving the animal welfare of these dogs. We will sterilise as many dogs as possible during this two week period, which will help to sustain the needed vaccination coverage of 70% of the dog population for longer. On top of the sterilisations, we will also treat sick and injured dogs that are brought to the Mission Rabies teams to be vaccinated. Many dogs in Malawi are suffering from TVT's (tumours that are transmitted when mating) severe mange, old fractures, malnutrition and a general lack of veterinary care.
The majority of these dogs will have never of seen a vet in their lifetime, by treating these dogs, you can make a real difference!
We are looking for highly skilled vets and nurses with at least 5 years experience to join the team. This project requires applicants to be confident in their surgical skills. You will be required to feel comfortable spaying at least 10 bitches a day and being able to deal with any potential complications on your own.
For nurses, we require high confidence in handling difficult dogs for sedation, placing IV catheters, preparing the drugs for a high number of dogs (up to 50 patients a day) and to work well under stress and being extremely organised in your work. This is required as the team are often surrounded by hundreds of dogs, young children and working under very basic conditions, such as no electricity or running water. Please note that although this is Africa, it will be cold this time of year.
The days commence with early starts at 6am where you will work from dawn to dusk. Surgeries are often completed by headlamps - see the kit list requirements!
You will need to arrive on 8th June, as the project briefing will be on the following day of the 9th June. The sterilisation campaign will run from the 10th - 21st June with Thursdays and Fridays being your rest days.
Every day will be spent at local schools utilising empty class rooms for surgeries, operating conditions are extremely basic with no water or electricity. You will need to be up at 6am for breakfast and the team will pack the trucks with all the necessary kit/instruments and supplies needed for the day and will aim to arrive at the field clinic at 7am. Surgeries run throughout the day with a lunch break and tend to finish around 4pm. At the end of the day, you return to the backpackers where everyone will unpack and restock the supplies for the next day.
On your arrival in Blantyre, you will spent the first night at our volunteer apartment based within the BSPCA.
The following day, you will be transfered to Zomba where accommodation is arranged at the Pakachere Backpackers - this is comfortable dormitory style accommodation, with really good home cooked meals plus they have a pub quiz once a week so get your trivia hats on!
You will need to cover the cost of accommodation and meals/drinks for which you need to allocate £20 per day.
A laundry service is provided and there is free WiFi.
We are looking for highly skilled vets and nurses with at least 5 years experience to join the team. This project requires vet applicants to be confident in their surgical skills and you will need to be comfortable spaying at least 10 bitches a day as well as being able to deal with any potential complications on your own.
For nurses, we require a high level of confidence in handling difficult dogs for sedation, placing IV catheters, preparing the drugs for a high number of dogs (up to 50 patients a day) and to work well under stress and being extremely organised in your work. This is required as the team are often surrounded by 100's of dogs, young children and working under very basic conditions, such as no electricity or running water. Please note that although despite this being Africa, it will be cold this time of year.
What to pack
Volunteers should take practical / comfortable clothes to work in e.g (scrubs). If you would like to purchase a WVS scrub top please contact the office or visit our online shop.
- Practical / comfortable clothes to work in (eg. scrubs)
- Wet weather gear and warm clothing for the evenings
- Bug spray
- Ear plugs and eye mask
- Prescriptions & over-the-counter medication (eg. Imodium, Paracetemol etc)
The project may be extremely short on certain supplies and would likely be very grateful for donations. Please get in touch with us to find out if there is anything in particular that would be helpful to bring with you. If you have any spare room in your bag on the outbound flight, it would be highly appreciated if you are able to bring some spare supplies to use during your trip. This is at your discretion and entirely optional.
It is essential that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance for this project which also covers you for veterinary work. We recommend Go Walkabout who offer tailor made travel insurance policies for WVS volunteers. Please note that fully paid members of WVS also receive a 10% discount on Go Walkabout policies.
Health & Vaccinations
This information should be used as a guide only. For up to date information on immunisations please consult your doctor. You will need to allow plenty of time before travelling for your immunisations to be effective. DO NOT LEAVE THIS UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE. As you will be working with animals the Rabies and Tetanus vaccines are essential. We have provided links below to websites with useful information on immunisations and travel advice which we highly recommend that you visit.
- www.fco.gov.uk - Website of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for travel advice generally and specifically by Country.
- www.lonelyplanet.com - For help travel advice
- www.nathnac.org - Useful information on immunisations required for travel
- www.mdtravelhealth.com - Helpful travel advice website, updated daily.
UK passport holders are required to obtain a visa before travelling. Please visit the Foreign Commonwealth Office website for further details: www.fco.gov.uk. All WVS volunteers are required to organise their own visas.
|Sat 10th Jun 2017||Fri 23rd Jun 2017|
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Benefits of volunteering with WVS
By volunteering with WVS you are making a huge difference to the lives of animals and communities around the world. Our trips usually include a small admin fee which helps cover: