A DAY IN THE LIFE OF COUNTRY DIRECTOR, BEBEHA AHMED
The SPANA Mauritania Country Director, Bebeha Ahmed, tells us about a typical day at our busy centre in the capital of the country, Nouakchott.
7.00am – The team arrive at the centre and the grooms start preparing food for the inpatients and cleaning out the stables while the vet and technician prepare the daily medications. We then check on the inpatients, which are mainly donkeys suffering with problems including fistulous withers, wounds and lameness. The team checks the temperature, pulse and respiration rate of all the inpatients before administering medicines and cleaning and redressing wounds.
8.00am – The outpatient clinic opens and animals are brought in for the treatment of illness and injuries, as well as routine procedures like dentistry and foot trimming. The vet, technician, groom and two farriers are kept very busy, while Baba the teacher makes a record of all owners that bring their animals in. The majority of patients are donkeys used to pull carts of water, goods or building materials around the city, with fewer horses that are mainly used to pull taxi carts and occasionally for riding.
9.00am – Two mornings a week classes of schoolchildren come to the centre accompanied by a teacher, to learn about animals, their role in the environment and their needs. Baba takes the lessons with Wan the vet technician assisting.
12.00 midday – The team packs equipment into the truck and heads out with the mobile veterinary clinics. They visit two or three water points in the town where they will treat mainly donkeys. The team see many wounds caused by badly made harnesses.Each water point is visited every month, with Baba the education officer attending to advise owners on how to steer the donkeys without causing injuries.
3.00pm – After a long day the team return to the centre for final checks on the inpatients before heading home. There is a guardian who lives at the stables and takes care of the inpatients overnight. He will give them feed and water and check on them through the night. If an inpatient needs treatment or an emergency arrives, the vet technician Wan always comes back to see to them.