Training of local animal health professionals in donkey medicine is a key element of the Overseas Department’s current way of working. During the months of July and August 2010 our team in Egypt trained three government vets chosen by the manager of the local government veterinary clinic; one based in the village of Oussem and two based in the El Saf area. The government vets met our team to discuss their training needs, then accompanied them out on several visits to village sites over a two-week period, enabling them to watch our vets at work and do some hands-on practical treatments themselves. After the last session there was a chance for them to give feedback. The government vets are now back at work in their own clinics, and are treating donkeys there.
The team are also planning to train some vets from the village of Wardan in the near future. Vets based in Wardan will also be able to cover nearby Abo Ghaleb, where there is an urgent need for a better local veterinary service to reduce dependence on the weekly visits of our mobile unit.
The regular summer training of vet students from Moshtohor college also went ahead. This college is one of Egypt’s leading veterinary training centres and has been supporting The Donkey Sanctuary since our early days working in Egypt, back in the mid-90s. In July 17 students, divided into two groups, attended the daily clinics and took part in clinical work. “About 20 per cent of the students from these groups are likely to work with donkeys in the future, and we heard from them after training that they are no longer afraid to touch donkeys as they were before, and they have got some empathy with donkeys after the training,” said Country Manager Mourad Ragheb.
In addition, a local farmer has been trained as a farrier by Shaaban’s team in Abo Ghaleb, after asking to be taught the necessary skills. If this works well, others will be trained elsewhere.