Many working animals face the very real threat of tetanus – a debilitating disease that can cause an agonising death – on a daily basis.
Tetanus is caused by a bacterial toxin that can enter the body through the smallest of wounds. Whilst tetanus is extremely rare in the developed world due to routine vaccination, sadly it’s still all too common in many of the countries where we work.
Dirty areas, like rubbish dumps, pose a danger for the animals that work there. A puncture or scrape from a splintering piece of wood or a rusty nail is all it takes for the tetanus bacteria to enter an animal’s bloodstream and cause an agonising death.
For nine-year-old donkey, Mory, the danger is lurking under the rubbish that he wades through daily at the dump. Jagged cans could pierce his flesh. Endless broken glass bottles could cut him. Small fires, caused by the scorching summer heat and flammable materials could burn him. Yet, there is something worse – the risk of a deadly infection.
Mory is one of hundreds of working donkeys in Mali that transport waste from the capital city, Bamako, to the towering dumps in Lafiabougou. He already has a painful wound caused by knocks from his heavy rubbish cart, which puts him in more danger of developing incurable tetanus. Mory is surrounded by threat, and every step he takes could kill him.
His young owner, Ayiba, saw that his donkey’s wound was getting worse and, fortunately, he knew about SPANA and where to find us.
Our trained vets set straight to work, cleaning Mory’s painful wounds, spraying them with antiseptic and carefully dressing them. Most importantly, they gave Mory a preventative and lifesaving vaccine to stop deadly tetanus in its tracks. They also advised Ayiba about correct harnessing to stop his cart from running into the wound.
Without our help, Mory was at serious risk of developing horrific tetanus. Its bacteria would enter his body and, after days of intense suffering, stop him breathing. No working animal should suffer like this.
The tetanus vaccine is not available in any of the countries where we work, so SPANA’s vaccination programme is vital. We have vaccinated thousands of working animals over the years, but many more are still at risk. Only with your help can we keep our mobile clinics stocked with lifesaving tetanus vaccines to save animals from the agony of this awful disease.
Without vaccination, it’s often too late to save other working animals from a horrific death once they become infected with the deadly tetanus bacteria. In their hazardous workplaces, whether it’s carting heavy building materials to remote villages or carrying water around treacherous roads, tetanus bacteria are waiting for the slightest injury. Without intervention, tetanus will take the lives of more working animals.
Our teams are committed to reaching as many working animals as possible with lifesaving vaccinations and treatment. With your help, we will protect working animals from deadly but preventable tetanus and save the lives of more hardworking animals.
To speak to our friendly supporter care team please visit our contact us page and get in touch.