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Working hand in hand with the UCC in Nicaragua
The World Horse Welfare programme in Nicaragua has an excellent working relationship with the Universidad de Ciencias Comerciales (UCC). When working with the local communities in Nicaragua to improve the welfare of working horses in the area, staff and vet students from the Veterinary faculty of the UCC have been involved.
The current objective of the World Horse Welfare-funded project is to increase the knowledge and capabilities of vet students in Nicaragua in aspects such as equine welfare and equine clinical skills. Veterinary courses within Central America tend to focus on small animals and farm animals, rarely containing any equine-specific training. In order to better their understanding of working horses and their needs, a new partnership was initiated with the Texas Equine Veterinarians Association (TEVA) at the end of 2015.
TEVA veterinarians, Drs. Chris Brasmer and Craig Niblett, have recently made a visit to the Nicaragua programme and provided in-field training to fifth year vet students of the UCC and a technical and practical training workshop focused on equine welfare and the main health problems of working equines to the third, fourth and fifth year vet students at the UCC facilities in Managua.
The field training was undertaken on community veterinary rounds in the city of Managua and the community of Momotombo where 233 working equines were treated. The focus for the fifth-year veterinary students was equine clinical skill and overall diagnosis as well as dentistry problems and treatment.
The training workshop was attended by over 50 students from the third, fourth and fifth year of UCC. Aspects such as overall improvement of equine welfare, basic treatment of major diseases effecting the area and common health issues were discussed alongside correct approach and handling.
The veterinary experts from TEVA will continue to visit Nicaragua twice a year to ensure that the veterinary students from UCC qualify with a better understanding of working horses and their needs enabling working horse owners to have access to local professionals with equine knowledge and the ability to treat the horses. We hope that by ensuring local people have the necessary training, that the programme will have a long-lasting and self-sustaining effect.