Monday, July 15, 2013

Vaccination Week

For the month of July we’ve spend most of our time visiting communities to give goat health training and perform house visits and vaccination days. Last week we visited 6 communities. At each community meeting we discussed some steps of good goat husbandry. These steps include providing clean water, a variety of good quality food, a sturdy raised goat pen, proper hygiene, vaccination yearly, deworming every 3 months and spraying weekly for ticks. These trainings are designed to help the beneficiaries and other community members understand what they can do to improve the health and production of their goat herds. 
Joseph speaking at a community meeting in Nyamuyangi.
We’ve also started visiting individual houses with the paravets. House visits allow us to talk with the beneficiaries one on one about their struggles with goat health, income generation and their families. We offer to help the paravet vaccinate, deworm and give other treatments to their goats at that time for a discounted price. This is a great opportunity for the beneficiaries to vaccinate their goats which would otherwise not occur because the paravets are often unable to store vaccines due to limited access to refrigeration. It is also an opportunity for the paravets to gain respect in the community, demonstrate their knowledge and practice their skills. With our assistance we were able to ensure they received payment for the services which has been a frequent problem in the past. Receiving this payment is critical because it allows the paravets to be able to purchase new medication to restock their kits and provide further services for other community members.
 Janet examining a goat with a previous eye infection.
 Getting ready to vaccinate.
 Elad teaching a new potential paravet how to give a subcutaneous injection.

Saturday afternoon, Dr. Claire Card arrived! We are very much looking forward to working with her for the rest of the summer. We hope to gain more insight from all her knowledge and past experiences on the project. We were also joined by fellow WCVM student Adam Bentley this weekend. He will be spending the next week working with us. Adam is a 2nd year vet student who has been in Uganda for the last 2 months working with the student for development project - a leadership and community placement "One Health" project.
Yesterday we celebrated Shafiq’s 21st birthday. Shafiq is a FAOC summer intern who works very closely with us in the field. He is studying Women’s Studies at Mbarara University and he is a wonderful translator and great asset to the project. Shafiq’s friends Brenda and Tom (also a FAOC volunteer) joined us as well and we celebrated with a strawberry birthday cake and cookies courtesy of Claire. 
Shafiq's birthday (receiving blessings)

We are preparing for another goat pass out day which will take place this Friday, July 19th. During our house visits we have been able to identify the women who will become our new beneficiaries. We are very proud of all the hard work the women have put in to preparing to receive their goats and are very excited about this next goat pass out.
 The group at the Rweiziringiro community meeting.
Birthday celebrations with the whole group!

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