November 18, 2011
Promoting Veterinary Care in Bangladesh
HSI works to improve veterinary care throughout Asia
The six-member vet and para-vet team from Bangladesh was very passionate about animal welfare and made for curious, eager, excellent trainees at HSI’s Jaipur Vet Training Centre (JVTC). Two of the para-vets had previously been part of a three-month-long dog census exercise conducted by HSI in Dhaka, Bangladesh. They had many stories to share, most of them about how protective the local people were of the dogs in their neighborhoods.
“Once, while we were counting dogs, a group of boys from the neighborhood picked a fight with us and even ripped our clothes! At another location, the dogs were so scared that they would lie absolutely still when we would go to mark them. People there began to complain that we were killing their dogs. While we tried to help them understand, the ‘dead’ dogs got up and quietly slipped away,” said para-vet Nasiruddin Ahmed between fits of laughter.
Effecting change, one step at a time
For decades, the official policy for controlling the street dog population in Bangladesh has been to club the animals to death. Our Asia team has worked incredibly hard to advocate for more humane methods. The dog-counting program and the subsequent training in India for the Bangladesh team are major achievements for HSI.
“In Bangladesh, people love animals, but animal welfare is poor. We are here to make a difference and I really think this training is a fantastic idea,” said Dr. Nawroj Mehedi. Having just performed his first spay surgery under the supervision of HSI's Dr. Chaudhari, Dr. Mehedi was excited about the future. “Almost all vets in Bangladesh are focused on treating farm animals and I have not dealt with dogs before, even at veterinary school. I am so thankful to HSI for this training program,” he said. Back in Bangladesh, Dr. Mehedi will perform sterilization surgeries and work with HSI's local partner agency.
Where there's a will, there's a way
The para-vet team from Bangladesh was being trained by HSI's Dr. Raghorte, who said the team had made great progress at dog catching and had learned various important techniques to aid the vets who will be performing spay/neuter surgeries in tough conditions.
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One of the para-vets, Sadek Al-Faruk, also mentioned that some of them had made significant personal sacrifices to attend the training program. “I skipped the last semester of my bachelor’s degree, and one of my colleagues gave up a job at the prime minister’s residence in Dhaka to train here. Another one comes from a family of pharmacists, but his father was very supportive. We love dogs and want to help,” he said.
No journey is too great...
The longest journey to the training center was made by Dr. Abdullah-Al-Mujahid. He had to travel by road from Bangladesh to India due to various logistical problems. Dr. Mujahid travelled for 12 hours to reach the city of Kolkata in eastern India. From there, he flew for a few more hours to make it to the HSI training center in northwestern India. “It was a long, long trip and I have to go back that way too, as my visa only lets me travel by road. But I have learned a lot from Dr. Chaudhari and Dr. Chawla, and I am glad that I made it,” he said. Give today to help HSI protect street animals.