Imagine you’re at your second day of work.
You’re in a new environment. You haven’t even unpacked your clothes. And your task for the day is to treat a camel that had been attacked and bitten by a lion.
That’s what Jessicah Kurere, lead veterinarian with the Community Animal Health Initiative Programme (Ewaso Lions, Vet in Wild, and Animal Care Centre), faced when she first started her job. Don’t worry—the camel recovered, and is fine.
Jessicah is part of a mobile veterinary unit that travels among pastoralist communities in Northern Kenya. Her team vaccinates domestic animals like dogs and cats against rabies and other diseases, provides neutering services, treats livestock that’s been attacked by wild animals like lions or hyenas or by rabid dogs, and promotes education and awareness of the interdependence of human health and animal health.
As they travel among communities in a car fitted out with an examination table and supplies, people often approach them from the road with puppies and kittens needing vaccination. “They literally call us ‘The people of dogs and cats,’” Jess says. “And we have owned it, and we love it, and we are very proud of it.”
Jessicah’s work is deeply informed by One Health, a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to attain optimal health for people, animals and our environment. It maintains that human health and animal health are interdependent, and that both depend on the health of the environment.
Since diseases move between domestic animals and wildlife, Jessicah helps “bridge that gap.” Improving the health of domestic animals also improves the health of wildlife, as well as the people who live with and among them.
About Dr. Jessicah Kurere
Jessicah is the lead veterinarian working with the Community Animal Health Initiative Programme (Ewaso Lions, Vet in Wild, and Animal Care Centre). Jessicah treats domestic animals who have faced injuries through carnivore attacks, vaccinates dogs and cats against deadly diseases, increases awareness on diseases and the One Health approach through education, and much more. She loves living and working with pastoralist communities in Northern Kenya.
About Women Blaze Trails Festival:
In celebration of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science (February 11), LenovoEDU sponsored Women Blaze Trails, a virtual 3-day festival celebrating women in science, exploration, and conservation from around the world.
The virtual festival had one simple goal: celebrating incredible women, doing incredible things around the world, day in and day out. We’re sharing these videos from the festival so you can meet scientists, explorers, conservationists, filmmakers, photographers and more, showcasing their work, challenges, adventures, research and expeditions.