Every day, Demba the donkey pulls heavy loads of rubbish up the steep and dangerous slopes of the Badalabougou rubbish dump in Mali’s capital, Bamako. The donkey and his owner, Ali, must navigate sharp scraps of metal and broken glass as they make their way to the top of the enormous piles of rubbish. Once there, Ali empties Demba’s cart before leading the 12-year-old donkey back down into town to repeat the process again.
Cuts and injuries are a constant threat for both the donkeys and their owners. Unfortunately, Demba sustained a deep wound on his left hip, which may have been exacerbated by an ill-fitting harness. The wound had become infected, with a painful abscess forming.
Thankfully, the SPANA mobile clinic visits the dumps regularly and our vets immediately examined the donkey to begin treatment of the injury. However, they recognised an even greater threat to Demba – tetanus.