Update on Donkey Vaccination Project

My recent trip with Ryan Law to La Gonave, Haiti to vaccinate donkeys against tetanus was a resounding success.  A hearty thank you to Zoetis for donating the vaccine and to World Horse Welfare who put us in contact with Dr. Wousvel, a veterinarian in Port au Prince.  Thanks as well to all the generous folks who donated money toward this effort. Together we became Team La Gonave!

Once on the island we traveled to the small communities of Deny Mak, Bois Noir and Nan Kafe.  There we met up with Merita, Alex and Philippe all veterinary agents there.  We also reunited with many other friends and supporters Paloma folks have made over the years. We spent two full days putting on vaccination, examination, deworming and wound treatment clinics for the donkeys, cattle and goats.  In total we saw 180 animal and vaccinated 75 donkeys.  Merita has a solar battery powered refrigerator so was able to store the remaining vaccine there in order to administer a booster vaccine in 3 weeks.  We put a tattoo in the donkeys’ left ear to identify those we initially vaccinated.  Hopefully this will become an annual trip.  We discovered whilst there that tetanus vaccine is not available at all in Haiti – not just on La Gonave.  Consequently we sent vaccine back to Port au Prince with Dr. Wousvel to use in his mobile clinics there.

Our last night on La Gonave we had a very productive meeting with folks in the community. Essentially, Ryan and I wanted to hear from them what sort of plans/dreams/needs they have to improve their lives there.  It was recommended and agreed upon that under the umbrella of one large community association there would be three sub-associations. These would be involved in agriculture, animal health and education.  Several thoughts and ideas were discussed under the starlit sky in Elijean’s garden.  There was a lot of enthusiasm and commitment.  We all came away feeling positively that with community effort and some outside help that progress can be made step by small step.

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