What time does your alarm go off and how do you start your day?
My alarm goes off at 6am and after eating some muesli and feeding the cat I cycle into the office. My route takes me through three different parks; a daily connection with nature!
What are you responsible for in your role at Brooke?
As the senior veterinary advisor my job at Brooke is to support the country programme teams to ensure healthcare and farriery interventions address prioritised welfare and healthcare issues, are based on best available evidence, are appropriate to context, and include effective monitoring systems to measure efficacy. We work together to plan the interventions so that owners have access to good quality and affordable healthcare for their horses and donkeys. Wherever possible we will work with the systems that already exist and provide extra training and support to vets, paravets and community animal health workers who may only have experience treating cattle and goats.
How did you get your job?
Before working for Brooke I was a rural vet in beautiful Somerset. While working in practice I completed a master’s degree in international animal health at the University of Edinburgh, conducting a research study in Nigeria to look at the prevalence of a blood-borne parasite called trypanosomiasis in goat and sheep populations. I guess this combination of clinical work in large animal practice and international experience helped me get the job.
What's your typical day?
For example today we had a Skype call with our colleague in Kenya to talk through the plans for farriery training.
I then had a discussion about how the healthcare monitoring tool that we have developed could be standardised.
At lunchtime all members of the office were invited to a share and learn about the Nepal brick kilns following a recent visit by a member of the vet and welfare team.
Following that there was a quarterly review meeting with the Brooke Ethiopia team where they reported the great work they have been doing to train government vets and how a drug revolving fund has been set up to supply essential medicines.
I was called into a meeting about the programme in Guatemala as they will be moving into a new area which is prone to drought and the owners have no access to animal health services.
What’s your most memorable work moment?
Visiting a rural health post in Ethiopia where the animal health assistant had Brooke training posters on the wall that he referred to every day, shelves stacked with medicines that had been supplied by the drug revolving fund established by Brooke and regular mentoring visits by a Brooke vet to work through clinical cases together.
What's the worst part of your job?
Seeing horses and donkeys that are suffering. When working overseas there is a steady stream of heart-breaking cases.
What's the best part of your job?
Working with colleagues in the country programmes that have extensive knowledge of the local situation. I feel privileged to be able to work in so many different countries.
What would be your Plan B? What would you be doing if you didn't work at Brooke?
Prior to getting this job at Brooke I was starting to develop a PhD project and apply for funding. I also really enjoy teaching and so lecturing at a vet school would be a plan B.
What do you do after work?
I pootle back home on my bike and scoop my daughter up from nursery. Sometimes we have time for a trip to the playground and then it’s dinner bath and bed.The last few evenings I have been tiling and grouting the kitchen - rock and roll!
What makes you #ProudToBeBrooke?
The dedication of the teams working in the field.
We reach over two million working horses, donkeys and mules across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Our staff include vets, animal welfare experts, and advocacy and development specialists.