The School takes part in projects across the world, offering our expertise to international communities.
Veterinary Nursing in India
The nursing of patients whilst they are sick or recuperating in hospital is of huge importance for ensuring all their needs are met and that their welfare doesn’t suffer. Nursing doesn’t just involve giving medication and providing food for an animal, it is also about ensuring the patient is treated as an individual and given everything it needs, not just for its physical wellbeing but also its mental wellbeing. Taking the time to comfort and befriend a frightened animal, or simply groom or play with a long term inpatient is just as important as keeping its intravenous fluids running or administering antibiotics.
Sadly, in many countries, the nursing of animals is low down on the hospital’s priorities and many animals are left unintentionally neglected. Little time is spent observing the animal and therefore changes in behaviour, which could indicate pain or fear, go unnoticed. The animal becomes nothing more than a ‘tick list’ of duties rather than an individual character with preferences and personal needs.
In November 2015, Hayley Walters and Heather Bacon will be taking eight student veterinary nurses from Edinburgh Napier University to two vet schools in Kerala in India to promote the value and importance of veterinary nursing. Over the course of two weeks the student veterinary nurses will help to demonstrate how good nursing improves patient care which in turn speeds up recovery times due to the provision of a comfortable environment, good nutrition, appropriate pain relief and lots of TLC.
The long term plan for this project is not only to improve patient welfare through the caring profession, but eventually to develop a veterinary nursing curriculum and qualification at the two vet schools in Kerala; something which will be of great value to the vets, veterinary students and, most importantly, the animals.
Rabies Project in Malawi
In early 2015, Dr Richard Mellanby, Head of Small Animal Medicine, visited Blantyre in Malawi, which has reported the highest incidence of childhood rabies of anywhere in Africa.
Rich worked alongside colleagues in the charity Mission Rabies, local vets, health officials, medics and a team of international volunteers as part of project to vaccinate as many dogs as possible in the centre of Blantyre.
This project resulted in the vaccination of over 35,000 dogs in just 20 days as well as delivering rabies education lessons to over 45,000 children through the city. The project was an outstanding success in one of the most challenging and problematic rabies hotspots in the world. We look forward to working with the Mission Rabies team in the future as the project continues to expand their study sites throughout the developing world.
Rabies is a devastating disease of both dogs and humans. Around 60,000 people, mostly children, die from rabies each year with almost all human rabies cases arising from bites by infected dogs. Administering rabies vaccines to dogs is highly effective at preventing the disease developing in dogs which subsequently leads to a dramatic decrease in the incidence of the disease in humans