Tag Archives: dairy production

An Insider’s Guide to RX One Health Course in Tanzania (Part III): Life Lessons

Taylor Calloway (Class of 2018) was one of twenty-one students who participated in the new Rx One Health Course based in Tanzania and Rwanda during June 2017. This is Taylor’s personal narrative aiming to illustrate her daily experiences, a deeper understanding of the One Health approach in a real-world setting, and the big question of “why is this course important.”

Taylor’s journey Part III

(Read Part I and Part II)


Needing a closer look, we were all working together to identify Giraffe Skin disease.

After a discussion about the ecology of the environment possibly effecting the Cape Buffalo populations and disease ecology of the giraffe skin disease, we ate breakfast and headed out of Ruaha National Park. We ventured to Idodi Health Clinic that works on a project with Rift Valley Fever and Brucellosis surveillance in the area. It was considered the nicest health clinics in Iringa. The clinic creates a large impact on community health by maintaining supplies, having organized areas of disease screening, and pregnancy/labor assistance specific areas.

Our driver told us a story about a mountain range outside of Ruaha. He explained that the Hehe would journey over the top to be blessed with pregnancy. This is because it looks like a woman lying down on her back with a pregnant belly. I proceeded to tell him that we are not allowed to cross over the mountain range for a long time.

Once back in Iringa we went shopping. I bought many gifts … ones that might end up being just for me. I grew closer to a couple people on the trip, exchanging stories and laughing for hours. I hope that we all stay in contact long after the course ends.

Kalenga kelu (Whehe word) mountain for the gift of pregnancy (meaning clear water).


Our day started with us running late. About two hours late. Which meant our eight-hour ride to Bagamoyo, a coastal town by Zanzabar, ended at 9:30 pm. So it was a long car day to say the least.

Sokoine University of Agriculture, cattle facility.

We were able to stop briefly in Morogoro to tour Sokoine University of Agriculture. We spoke with apopo, rat, tuberculosis laboratory about their African burrowing rat training program to identify TB from human sputum. All of the veterinary students almost stole the rats, they were adorable and showed off their intelligence when we saw training demonstrations. (Side note: you can support one of these rats and the program will send you notices on how they are doing. Great present idea for the activists and animal lovers in your life. No they did not pay me to tell you this. I just really loved the rats!) Then we spoke with Dr. Abel Ekiri about the HALI project’s virology lab, which was recently made out of two shipping containers. It was housed with technology we use at UC Davis and flowed in a way that was organized and really made sense.

Maria Ertner and Nathan Brown getting their animal time in before the African burrowing rat demonstrates the TB detection process.

It was a good day of getting to know the people in our cars, and learning how long we can hold it before short calls need to be made! Maria and I exchanged music so I will go home with a list of new songs to buy. We just arrived in Bagomoyo. I have eaten and now I am exhausted. Lala salama!

Tanzanian Gold is the phrase used when the locals refer to their country’s wildlife. That alone speaks volumes to the pride shown by the citizens of Tanzania. My dream is to see that type of feeling fill the minds of more people in the United States. Life would be much more beautiful. Continue reading

Student’s Journey to Food Animal Medicine

By Monique Garcia Gunther

michelle with cows 2When Michelle Schack was seven years old, she was dissecting squirrels. At 17, she helped raise nine guide dogs.  In college, as an undergraduate resident manager of an animal sciences barn, she lived with pigs for two years. Today, in her final year of DVM training at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, you’ll find Michelle outdoors working on a dairy farm diagnosing cattle pregnancies or treating a sick cow, as part of a rotation in dairy production medicine.

A city girl drawn to the farm

You might think Michelle grew up on a farm. Instead, she was raised in the traffic-filled suburbs of the San Francisco Bay Area where 4-H Clubs were hard to come by.

From an early age, Michelle said she knew she wanted to be a veterinarian and sought out opportunities to work with animals. But she was keenly aware that becoming a veterinarian involved more than a love for animals. While she owned dogs, a tortoise, a bunny and a bird as pets, she also possessed an inquiring mind, a strong sciences and math skill set and good communication skills. When she reached high school, she took anatomy and physiology to prepare for college. Continue reading