Our flagship in India - the Mission Rabies mobile hospital - recently made a stop in the eastern Indian city of Bhubaneswar, training local vets in animal birth control (ABC) techniques. Danish vet Martine and her husband Lauge volunteered to help out with the truck training for two weeks, teaching local vets and experiencing the work of Mission Rabies first hand. Today we would like to share a short report about their time out in the field Martine wrote for us:
"The training truck trips are a very valuable and much needed part of the Mission Rabies project. Trips are of two weeks duration and takes on 6 local vets as participants for learning about rabies control and ABC surgery. The course includes lectures and a lot of practical sessions.
We had the pleasure of teaming up with the Mission Rabies team, in collaboration with local charity People for Animals, for the course in Bhubaneswar. I joined Mission Rabies vets Dr. Jawahar and Dr. Prabakaran in the teaching of the surgical skills, and my husband, a non-vet, joined the assistants with the many jobs of prepping, clearing up etc.
The truck is a high tech mini clinic with digital xray, ultrasound scanner, microscope, operating theatre and a/c (something a nordic person like me was very happy about). The participants paired up and one would perform surgery whilst the other was in charge of anaesthetic monitoring. As the truck is also equipped with a gaseous anaesthetic machine, they all had the opportunity to become familiar with the use of this as well. Although this is not standard equipment in practices in India - it will be in the future. In the two weeks the participants became confident enough in their surgical skills to perform both castrations and spays on their own.
Quite an achievement as most of them had not done surgery before - but all very keen to learn and with the one to one teaching methods, they picked up the techniques quickly. Also the importance of aseptic techniques became a natural thing to them. There is no doubt in my mind how important these courses are! These vets can now perform ABC safely and efficiently, and by passing on their knowledge to colleagues and future vets, the future for combating rabies and the vast numbers of dogs in India looks bright. In fact two of the participants, who are PhD students at the local veterinary college, will be doing a lecture on what they have learned. The smooth running of this project was made possible by logistics manager Antony Rubin who also went to great lengths insuring our well-being during our visit! Thank you so much to the whole team for giving us the warmest welcome and the best trip we could have wished for! We will not hesitate to join in again!"