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Vet Gazette

Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine eNewsletter

Veterinarians and Techs Needed for Service Trip to Nicaragua

February 24th, 2014

NicaraguaWaitingRoomIt is that time of year again! The IVSA is seeking interested veterinarians and technicians to join us on our eighth annual trip to Ometepe Island, Nicaragua to provide veterinary care to the community of Mérida.

Ometepe, a volcano located within Lake Nicaragua, is currently home to an estimated 10,000 rural families and 41,000 dogs, in addition to countless pigs, cattle, horses and chickens. Minimal veterinary care is available for the dogs and cats that inhabit the island. The livestock on the island face poor management issues and owners have a scarce number of veterinarians to turn to for advice. In addition, due to the close living quarters and lack of good hygiene practices, zoonoses are a major concern. These risks threaten not only the health of both human and animal inhabitants of Ometepe but also the impressions of the visiting tourists who are a critical source of income for the island.

In response to this need, the student members of OSU’s International Veterinary Student Association have implemented a program for the last 7 years to supply veterinary care to the community of Mérida. Our upcoming trip August 25th-September 6th 2014 is a continuation of our efforts to serve this community and promote a more healthful environment for both humans and animals. Our vision includes community education, over-population management, wellness exams and preventive medical care for both large and small animals.  We make every effort to provide high quality medicine. However, due to variable, sometimes unpredictable conditions, flexibility and improvisation are often necessary skills for providing efficient health care to our patients. In the end, we believe improved public health practices and veterinary care will translate to better health, more economic success and greater productivity for the local people.

In addition to the contributions we hope to make to the community of Ometepe, the experience of running the clinics offers students an unparalleled opportunity to develop clinical skills and practical experience. While the trip is student organized, funded and executed, we need veterinarians to partner with us in our endeavors.

We are seeking veterinarians and technicians to supervise and educate OSU students on our trip to Nicaragua. We would be delighted to have small animal, equine, and food animal practitioners available to the community this year.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to reply to contact us at the IVSA email address: oregonivsa@gmail.com.

by Emily Toleno, OSU College of Veterinary Medicine, Class of 2016


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