With his owner, Issa, Sidiki carts rubbish from Bamako, Mali to a rubbish dump on the city’s outskirts.
Six days a week, the donkey climbs up and down mounds of rubbish, filled with sharp cans, scrap metal and dangerous broken bottles. Sidiki’s dangerous working conditions are a breeding ground for tetanus bacteria.
With each slow step through the rubbish, Sidiki winces in pain. The makeshift harness around his chest is chaffing, creating a wound that’s getting bigger and bigger. Without treatment, it could soon kill him.
Sidiki’s painful open wound provides the perfect environment for bacteria to multiply.
It could take just three days from the particles entering Sidiki’s wound before he starts to show the early signs of tetanus. His muscles would start to contract and his jaw would become ‘locked’. He’d struggle to eat, drink and eventually breathe. His ears would become stiff, and symptoms would quickly become more serious as the disease attacked his nervous system. Eventually, Sidiki would die an agonising death from starvation, dehydration or suffocation.
No working animal should have to suffer like this when tetanus can be prevented.
Thankfully, Issa acted quickly when he realised that Sidiki’s wound was becoming more serious. He took Sidiki to our SPANA mobile clinic at the rubbish dump in Bamako. Our trained vets knew they had to give Sidiki a lifesaving tetanus anti-toxin and an anti-tetanus vaccination straight away.
Our vets also cleaned and disinfected his wound. They talked to Issa about proper harnessing to prevent any more wounds as Sidiki carries out his heavy work.
Sidiki was lucky. His wound slowly began to heal after a couple of weeks.
Not every working animal is as lucky as Sidiki, but with a kind gift from you today we can protect more animals from horrific tetanus. Thank you.