Maun Animal Welfare Society, better known as MAWS, is one of Travel for Impact’s proud partners. They are operated by an office staff and almost entirely reliant on volunteer veterinarians and nurses to provide care. As MAWS is always welcoming new volunteers to the clinic, members of the Travel for Impact team decided to visit the clinic in mid-June to meet the latest visitors and learn more about their experience.
Dr. Hannah Worden and nurse Emma Holder were both first time MAWS volunteers who found the clinic through the World Veterinary Service. Initially attracted to Botswana by the Okavango Delta, both were in Maun to work at the clinic for two weeks as well as spend a little extra time enjoying the area.
Visiting from Lincolnshire, UK, Dr. Worden has been a vet for 9 years and completed her education at the Royal Veterinary College in London, UK. She previously volunteered as a vet in Zanzibar five years ago and was excited for another opportunity to do similar work. She said the process to volunteer in Botswana was quite thorough compared to the past, upon arrival “I had to go to Gaborone for a night to formally register with the Botswana Veterinary Service and give a declaration”. At MAWS she explained that the clinic is better equipped than her last volunteer experience but still very different from what she sees day to day at her home clinic. Dr. Worden told me about the variety of diseases and injuries that they had seen. In terms of injuries, “road accidents are common here” she explained, which is attributable to the regular free roaming. All while in the midst of spaying a dog, she continued to explain to me that there are a few very common diseases that have extremely low prevalence in places like the UK and Australia. One of these is TVT, which is preventable by early spay and neutering of domestic dogs.
Stay tuned to find out more about Nurse Emma Holder and her experiences in Maun, Botswana.
Written by: Colleen Townley
Photo Credit: Tania Muche