Salomon the donkey being treated for tetanus

Too many animals are dying from tetanus. All they need is a vaccination to save them.

Many working animals face the very real threat of tetanus on a daily basis – a debilitating disease that, left untreated, can cause an agonising death.

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 environments, like the rubbish dumps in Mali, are a breeding ground for bacteria and the animals that work there are especially prone to infection. All day they walk over rubbish, including scrap metal, wood and broken glass – as a result, many get wounds and cuts on their bodies, limbs and feet. Perhaps it’s therefore no surprise that over 30 per cent of the tetanus cases SPANA treats each year are in Mali.

It doesn’t have to be this way. With your help, we will protect working animals from deadly but preventable tetanus. SPANA teams are committed to reaching as many working animals as possible with lifesaving vaccinations and treatment, while our community training helps more animals in the long term. 

Click here to view our detailed report on our approach to battling tetanus.

Mory’s story

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 expert 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.

Donkey in Mali rubbish dump

This horrific disease can be prevented through a simple solution – vaccination.

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 vaccinationit’s often too late to save 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.

Your kind donation today can prevent working animals from developing deadly tetanus.

Thank you

Your generous donations will be used for projects such as those featured in this appeal and where they are required the most to help animals in need. We would be so grateful for whatever you can give to this vital tetanus appeal. Thank you.

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