Working donkey stands next to his owner in Segou, Mali, while waiting for treatment for kidney stones.
A working donkey in Ségou, Mali, stands next to his owner while waiting for treatment for kidney stones.

You may have heard the story of Amou recently, one of thousands of hardworking donkeys our team of expert vets see in Ségou, Mali. If her story moved you to send a gift, thank you so much on behalf of working animals like Amou.

If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to donate, please do give what you can today to help build a new SPANA veterinary centre in Ségou and provide treatment for approximately 60,000 working animals a year in Mali.

Every month, our mobile veterinary team travel 150 miles from the SPANA centre in Bamako, Mali’s capital, to Ségou. It’s heartbreaking for them to be greeted by so many owners and their working animals waiting to be seen for everything from infectious diseases to dangerous weight loss. Our two veterinary technicians in Ségou travel on motorbikes, so can only respond to urgent cases locally. And they can only do so much with the limited kit they can carry.

Please could you donate today to help build a new veterinary centre in Ségou, Mali, so hardworking animals that are suffering can get the treatment they desperately need?


You can also view our detailed report here to learn more about the new veterinary centre and how your support will help working animals.

Bamako-based veterinary technician Dramane Issa examines Jigi the donkey before giving treatment for wounds and a cough at the SPANA clinic in Segou, Mali
SPANA veterinary technician Dramane Issa examines Jigi the donkey before giving him treatment for wounds and a cough during a visit to Ségou, Mali.

Jigi’s story

Jigi, another working donkey of Ségou, pulls a taxi cart carrying people, water and goods for his 14-year-old owner, Oumar. He works long days in intense heat with his makeshift harness rubbing away at the skin of his thin body.

One day, Oumar noticed Jigi was struggling to breathe. As the days went by, Jigi developed a horrendous cough. It was almost impossible to pull his heavy cart. His nostrils flared and you could see his stomach muscles move as he gasped desperately. A thick white discharge poured from Jigi’s nose. He was hot to touch and refusing food.

Jigi needed help urgently, but Oumar didn’t know where to find it. The nearest veterinary centre was 150 miles away in Mali’s capital. With each day that passed, Jigi grew weaker.

His life was in danger.

Luckily, Oumar heard that SPANA was holding a mobile clinic at the market in Ségou. When our veterinary team saw Jigi, they worked to bring his fever down immediately. They carefully examined Jiji to find the cause of his cough.  

Jigi had a severe respiratory infection, with signs of pneumonia. The vets gave him anti-inflammatories and antibiotics to treat the infection and explained to Oumar how to give the daily medication to Jigi. Finally, they cleaned and disinfected Jigi’s harness wounds. Thanks to SPANA’s expert care, Jigi was on the road to recovery.

Jigi the working donkey in Segou, Mali
Jigi the working donkey after receiving treatment from SPANA vets in Ségou, Mali.

With a permanent centre in Ségou, the story of other working animals of the town and region would be more hopeful too.

Respiratory infections can easily spread to other animals. Without treatment, they can be extremely painful and lead to a lifetime of misery. We don’t know how many poor working animals caught the respiratory infection from Jigi.

If we had a veterinary centre in the region, Jigi could be separated from other animals, and not spread the respiratory infection. In the clean centre and stables, dust would not make the infection worse and he’d receive the medication he needed every day.

The Covid-19 pandemic has already delayed building the centre and launching this appeal. If we wait any longer, working animals like Jigi will suffer and die. The centre will change the lives of generations of working animals. You can help to build this life-changing legacy for the suffering working animals of Mali by donating today.

Please donate today so we can build the veterinary centre and end the suffering of working animals in need for years to come. Thank you.

Thank you

Please be assured that even if we don’t reach our appeal target of £164,000, then any funds raised will still be used to help us treat, care and protect working animals in Ségou, Mali. If the generosity of supporters means we exceed our target, then any additional funds will go wherever the need is greatest.

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