La o prima intalnire clujeanul Andrei Mihalca pare un om obisnuit. Linistit, modest, rezervat… Ai nevoie de timp sa ajungi sa-l cunosti, sa-ti dai seama cu ce tip extraordinar ai de-a face. Marturie sta si articolul Alexandrei Popescu, “Un veterinar roman in Africa” – pe care poti sa-l citesti mai jos – despre unul dintre proiectele lui Andi.
by Alexandra Popescu
A child in Olturot, a village in Northern Kenya, is bitten by a rabid dog while playing near a dusty road. Slowly, the viruses start their lethal journey from the biting spot, through the nerves and to the brain. In a few days, without the rabies vaccine, he will die in excruciating pain. The nearest hospital where he can get the treatment is in Gatab, a one day walk through the heat, where his parents will have to pay about 60 euros.
The family is desperately trying to sell their only cow left in order to save his life. Last year, their little fortune consisted in five cows, but three of them were killed by the severe drought; they sold the other one when their other child got malaria. However, this story has a happy ending, since the Mount Kulal Dogs’ Preventive Vaccination Project, led by the Czech David Modrý and by Andrei Mihalca, supplies the necessary funds for the rabies vaccine.
Since 2006, the veterinaries vaccinate the dogs belonging to the Samburu and Turkana tribes, perform blood tests and treat bitten people. The team travels from village to village, talks to the elderly councils and people bring their animals. “So far, we have vaccinated about 1.000 dogs, donkeys, cows and cats”, says veterinary Andrei Mihalca. The project is also meant to give an example to other Kenyan districts dealing with rabies outbursts.
“There is nothing similar in Africa. People appreciate our effort and we hope that, in the future, people will learn to help themselves and the movement to be supported by the community”, says Mihalca.
Legend: Pupils from the local school in Gatab attend to the rabies lesson. Every dog is vaccinated, photographed and gets a vet’s certificate where most of the people don’t have births certificates.