In 2003 we received a desperate message from Pignon – ten of the donkeys purchased with loans from our microcredit program were ill with anthrax; two had already died. The next year an ox died for lack of treatment; a disaster for the poor owner who still had his $600 loan to pay back.
Although we were able to save the donkeys by sending some antibiotics to Pignon with a friend, these incidences highlighted the fact that we needed a veterinarian in Pignon. Our pastor in Pignon recommended a very bright young high school graduate, Moussanto Dantil, who was thrilled to be sent to the University of Fondwa in Leoganne, Haiti, where he became in 5 years a Doctor of Veterinarian Sciences. Today Moussanto runs St. Joseph’s Pharmacie Veterinaire and with the assistance of Venold Toussaint, cares for the area’s animals. In addition, he runs seminars to educate the local breeders and market women on care of their animals.
Highly creative, Moussanto developed an insurance program in 2009 whereby microcredit borrowers pay a small fee that is taken out of their original loan, for guaranteed care of their animals should they fall ill. (Our program donates inoculations and any medicines needed.) It was not an easy sell in Pignon, where people often don’t have the money to feed their children and so are unlikely to spend money on a sick ox, goat or donkey, but as they began to understand the connection between the health of their animals and a steady income, the idea caught on and they started “to call for the vet”, and pay the fee less grudgingly.
Organizations wishing to purchase goats can contact Moussanto Dantil at email@example.com or phone him at 001-509-33238510