Aya’s story

Aya was in searing pain. Her harness rubbed against open wounds as she pulled heavy piles of wood in the remote village of Kanadjiguila, Mali. Aya and her owner Nassoun have the essential job of delivering wood to people in their local community to use for cooking and warmth.

It was several weeks ago that Nassoun noticed fleshy lumps on Aya’s side. She saw how her donkey was beginning to struggle and worried how she could possibly access veterinary treatment to make her better.

For working animals like Aya, that live in the world’s poorest and most remote locations, life is incredibly tough.

They must battle harsh terrain and unforgiving climates, working long hours to support their owners’ families. For them, illness and injury are all too common, and in the world’s most hard-to-reach places, minor ailments can quickly escalate into far more serious – and even fatal – illnesses.

Sadly, with animal welfare declining due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, many more working animals now need our help.

Every day that Aya worked, there was an increased risk that her open wounds would become an agonising infection. As Aya lives so far from a vet, she had little hope of receiving the treatment she desperately needed.

How SPANA helped Aya

Fortunately, thanks to your support, we were able to reach Aya, despite it being lockdown in Mali. Our vets travelled to the remote town of Kanadjiguila in their mobile clinic, a specially designed van, stocked with vital medicines and surgical materials. Nassoun heard that our vets were in town and brought Aya to be treated.

Our trained veterinary team saw immediately that Aya had sarcoids on her side. These are a type of skin tumour that can appear suddenly and grow quickly. The team knew that they had to carry out surgery there and then. They gave Aya an anaesthetic so they could carefully remove the sarcoids and stitch her wounds.

SPANA mobile vets advised Nassoun that Aya needed two weeks of rest and to keep an eye out for other sarcoids as they could come back. Nassoun was relieved. ‘The donkey feeds my whole family,’ she says. ‘SPANA is very important to me. When SPANA takes care of the animals, they work very well.’

It’s heartbreaking to think about other working animals in Aya’s position who – just because of where they are in the world – are not getting basic veterinary care.

With your help, we will reach more working animals in remote locations that have missed out on vital veterinary care because of the pandemic.

Your support allows us to keep our mobile clinics on the road and stocked with lifesaving medication and equipment. We will not abandon working animals like Aya to suffer or die needlessly.

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To speak to our friendly supporter care team please visit our contact us page and get in touch.