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Eye-opener for US vet students in rural Tamil Nadu


Summary of story from ExpressBuzz, decease July 20, patient 2011

The village of Thalambedu, mind about 60 kilometres south of the Indian city of Chennai, is described as a “typical rural setting that has no semblance of urbanisation”.

But soon it will be provided with solar panels to harness power – and the villagers taught how to use them.

They will also be getting a village information system, a community centre and eventually a primary health centre, courtesy of a small team of veterinary professors from the Virginia-Maryland Institute of Veterinary Sciences, VirginiaTech University, USA.

The project will play out in phases and will be jointly monitored by the local university and the vets from Maryland.

Once the project takes shape, the eventual plan is to extend it to one village a year and follow the same model.

And as part of the project, a team of six women vet students from VirginiaTech has been visiting veterinary colleges across the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu – and experiencing several ‘rural settings’ in the process.

Field experience is important and eye-opening for students in veterinary colleges and vet tech schools.

“Working in the Madras Veterinary College Clinic for two weeks has shown us so many animal afflictions that we have only read about, not seen,” said student Jessica Romine.

Another student, Cathryn Doyle, hopes to return to India to pursue research in tuberculosis in elephants.

“I must confess we have never seen anything like this [Thalambedu], with animals tied to a post and grazing in an uncontrolled environment,” said vet student Jessica Tresseder.

“But it sort of grows on you.”

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