I am writing to tell you about a special project I will be doing with Veterinarians Without Borders this fall. My daughter, Pollaidh, is a Peace Corps volunteer in Uganda working with a local non-profit agricultural development organization, the Multi-Purpose Training and Community Empowerment Association (MTCEA). The photos in this post are from her.
One of the MTCEA projects that Pollaidh has been involved with distributes oxen and plows through a microlending project. Through her work, I have learned about the veterinary needs for advancing economic opportunity in the area.
Animal agriculture allows families to raise living standards and increase protein in the diet as well as providing animal draft power to cultivate enough land to market products and support families during the dry season. Uganda is subject to many hard-to-control and debilitating livestock diseases that limit agricultural success. East Coast Fever, a tick-borne disease, can kill up to 60% of young livestock.
In September, I will be heading to Uganda to join an ongoing effort by Veterinarians Without Borders to contribute to the disease control and advancement of farming in East Africa. The primary goal of the project is to train Community Animal Health Workers to provide the local support for agriculture that is necessary for economic development. MTCEA will work with the regional veterinary officer to select trainees for us to teach techniques of livestock management and disease prevention.
The goal is to recruit a balance of men and women for these roles to create a sustainable culture and business of animal health care. The training will support twenty participants for an intensive course in animal health care directed at the particular needs of their own villages in Uganda.
We will run seminars in towns with livestock markets so that we can provide hands-on training. The hope is to advance farmers’ economic opportunities so that they can contribute to the health and education of their own families and the regional infrastructure.
Thanks for your interest and support!
Elliott here again: Dr. Major and Veterinarians Without Borders are raising money to cover the costs of training and equipping the new animal health workers.
Donations can be made securely through Google Checkout via the Veterinarians Without Borders – US website. If you choose to contribute in this way, please send an e-mail to vwb.usa [at] gmail.com to identify the destination of your donation as Dr. Major’s project in Uganda. VWB’s status as a 501c3 US non-profit means donations will be tax deductible.
Are there any veterinarians or students out there who have large animal expertise and might be interested in joining this or future related projects?
Leave a comment to let me know, and I’ll get you in touch with the right people.