by Mdzananda Animal Clinic
Dr Blessing Chiriseri, is a veterinarian at the Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. The clinic recently re-launched its mobile outreach clinic services to communities. Blessing describes the new initiative.
Just over a year ago I finished vet school and moved to Cape Town to become part of the great Mdzananda Animal Clinic team. Shortly after arrival I found myself overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of roaming pets in the township. My initial reaction was probably what most people would have – that “No-one really cares for these poor animals”.
One year on, my perspective has taken a complete 360⁰ turn. Twelve-months and thousands of animals later has helped me made understand how much dedication there is from the Mdzananda team. However the greatest depiction of care and love has been countless numbers of people, young and old, pushing their pets in shopping carts from far and wide in search of help. I have completely immersed myself in this beautiful interaction.
A few months back we took time to take a closer look at the outreach program which was meant to serve the communities that were further away from the established Mdzananda structures. This step back afforded us the opportunity to assess the impact we had had over the years and a lot seemed out dated and inadequate. Shifts in lifestyle and the economics of the communities meant a lot required to be tailored to better suit the different areas and particular household structures, and particularly the times when people are at home and available to bring their pets to mobiles.
The major aspect that required and still requires immediate and meticulous attention is education. The interaction with clients has revealed how little animal health care information these owners are equipped with. However the community seems very keen to learn (a priceless tool).
Our new mobile outreach program is therefore a combination of specific days solely set aside for educating the communities and then satellite clinic days. Our satellite clinics are simply an extension of our consultation rooms which means we are now able to properly treat some animals at these sites and to identify and admit patients needing hospital care back at Mdzananda HQ. The methods we are going to use are entirely tailored to each area we will visit. The socio-economic situation of each household visited will be appraised and then given the utmost consideration. It is always important to realise that the quality of life of the animal will only be determined by that of its owner.
These are particularly exciting times for me and Mdzananda. We can only imagine the impact an outreach program like this is going to have on the pet population in this part of the continent. In conclusion I must say, the first day of our re-launch was a great success. The team really showed a different but positive kind of enthusiasm and we intend to keep it that way for decades to come. We are striving to make education Mdzananda’s long lasting legacy. – Dr Blessing Chiriseri, Veterinarian
You can assist our mobile clinics by sponsoring a pet per month. Each pet receives a vaccination and dewormer at the cost of R70 to us. Each unsterilized pet is also sterilized at the cost of R200 to us. If you are able to sponsor one pet a month for either of these treatments we will be extremely grateful. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to become a monthly donor.