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    • 31 Aug, 2023

    Building capacity in the veterinary profession in Afghanistan

    Mayhew has been providing training in small animal veterinary care in Afghanistan since 2003 to help train and build capacity within the Afghan veterinary profession.

    Over the last 20 years, Mayhew has trained fourth and fifth year veterinary students at Kabul University Vet Faculty. Since being registered as an NGO there in 2016 we have  recruited a veterinary team to deliver our dog population management programme in Kabul and we have trained our own team, cohorts of Kabul University Vet Faculty students, newly graduated vets wanting to gain some practical experience and more recently vets from the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation & Livestock.

    All of the present vet team at Mayhew in Afghanistan have been trained by Mayhew’s Country Director in Afghanistan, Dr Mo, and his colleagues, Dr Hashimi and Dr Noor Habib. We currently have 12 vet students visiting and four qualified vets on secondment from the Ministry of Agriculture, as well as recently qualified vets volunteering with us to widen their knowledge and experience.

    Man in purple scrubs demonstrating dog surgery to three vet students in white coats

    The vet training is focussed on small animal reproductive surgery, pre- and post-operative care, anaesthesia and analgesia primarily in dogs. This includes understanding sterility in the clinic environment, not only of the veterinary equipment, but the importance of the surgeon working in a sterile manner to reduce infections and post-operative complications.

    Many students we train have not had much experience in handling the roaming dog population so learning about humane handling and restraint is also important. In addition, they learn how to carry out basic health checks, including checking pulse and heartrate,  how to prepare animals for surgery, administering vaccinations, calculating drug dosages, using instruments correctly, reproductive surgery, using different types of suture material, surgical knots and dealing with potential complications.

    As well as providing training in safe and secure surgical techniques and quality pre- and post-operative care, this also helps to raise awareness of the strategies of dog population management and the epidemiology of rabies. You can find out more about our work in Afghanistan here.

    “The more local vets become engaged with the health and welfare issues of street dogs , the more chance there is of sustainable change on the ground. Our mission is to enthuse the local vets, providing them with opportunities to learn and develop and then put that knowledge to good use, benefitting both the animals and their own local communities. This is an invaluable practical opportunity provided for learning about preventative veterinary care and builds up knowledge and competencies for a sustained improvement in animal welfare.”

    Dr Mo

    Afghanistan Country Director

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