Seven-year-old Nourou transports water in Nouakchott, Mauritania to help his young owner, Oumar, earn a living. For 12 hours a day, under the burning sun, the small donkey pulls a heavy cart up and down steep sand dunes.
Each journey is perilous and, until recently, Nourou didn’t have a proper harness. Nourou’s heavy, unbalanced load put huge strain on his body, while his thin, unpadded harness rubbed against his skin and began to chafe.
Burning wounds opened up across his back and shoulders and soon these untreated sores developed a horrible, weeping infection.
Extremely concerned about his donkey’s welfare, Oumar took Nourou to SPANA’s mobile clinic for help.
Seeing the donkey in clear distress, the vets immediately gave Nourou painkillers before gently cleaning his wounds. They then carefully applied antibiotic spray to treat the infection and advised Oumar to rest Nourou until he had recovered.
Most importantly, the vets showed Oumar how to fit Nourou’s harness to relieve the pressure on his back and shoulders. They also showed him how to pad the harness using inexpensive local materials to make it more comfortable and breathable.
These basic adjustments to Nourou’s harness would protect him from further traumatic wounds.