Costa Rica VIDA Trip to aid the underserved
Organized by: Noreen Ali
This December I have been given a unique opportunity to volunteer for an extraordinary organization. VIDA pura is a non-profit organization that simultaneously provides humane medical care to the underserved in Central America, as well as invaluable experience for those training in the medical field. They represent a micro-version of One Health in actual practice, being that they offer Human Medicine, Dental, and Veterinary volunteer aid, all with environmental consideration. As part of the Veterinary team, I will be performing ethical sterilization of cats and dogs in overpopulated areas of Costa Rica and also provide veterinary care to local livestock. My fellow colleagues and I will be educating local people on proper care of companion pets, working animals, and livestock. These are animals that are within human contact daily, so not only are we trying to improve the quality of life for the animals but also for the people who own them. Better health for the animals can mean a healthier family home life, more productivity from farm animals, and even a better means of transportation for some. As a third year veterinary student, this trip will give me early surgery exposure as well as learn how to practice without the luxuries of medical technology used in the United States. This experience will not only cultivate me as a veterinarian but also test my ingenuity. I hope to do my part in making a difference in veterinary care and education, so any amount of help would be greatly appreciated!