Muriega! (“Hi all” in Kikuyu, the local language spoken in Mukurwe-ini)
The three of us visiting the Giraffe Centre in Nairobi, which is part of the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife Kenya Ltd.
We would like to formally introduce you to the VWB/VSF team Kenya!
We are a mini force of three. Kelly Hammond (photo left) is a vet student from Manitoba heading into her second year. She aims to work in mixed animal practice after graduation and is very interested in contributing to sustainable agricultural practices on a global scale. Megan White (photo center) is a Registered Vet Tech and agricultural student from Alberta. This is her second trip to Kenya, and she is excited to see how veterinary medicine contributes to human and animal welfare in developing nations. Alina Gardiner (photo right) is a vet student from Ontario heading into third year. Alina wants to work in a bovine practice after graduation, so she is thrilled to be on the dairy team and to collaborate with Kenyan farmers to improve the health of their calves.
We’re sure all of you (especially our families) are wondering what we have been up to! The internet is not always reliable here, so we are extra excited to share our experiences through this blog.
We have just arrived in Mukurwe-ini, our final placement destination, after spending the past week with Dr. John VanLeeuwen in Meru learning the ropes and acclimatizing to the farming techniques here in Kenya! We were able to practice our physical exams, body condition scoring and pregnancy checks under the watchful eye of Dr. John.
This summer we will be working with women and youth members of the Wakulima Dairy Ltd. We will be hosting seminars focusing on dairy calf health and welfare and making small changes and recommendations on farm. In addition, we will be visiting primary schools to educate children about zoonotic diseases and hygienic practices related to animal handling. Our overall goal is to help educate dairy farmers to improve the health of their animals and promote a sustainable livelihood in their communities.
Kenya is a beautiful country, and we have taken at least 500 photos each, but have included just a few of our favorites from the past week below.
In the last week, we have had to get creative with restraint techniques. Alina is holding a cow while Kelly listens to the heart as part of a physical exam.
Alina performing a pregnancy check of one of the cows in Meru with Dr. John’s guidance.
A small 6-month-old calf. With the help of Dr. John and the other vet students we gave nutrition recommendations to the farmer to help with normal growth.