PRESS RELEASE – Thursday, 2 April 2020
Animals Fiji Uses Technology to Ensure Animals Can Receive Veterinary Care Despite Pandemic
IMPORTANT NOTE: According to the OIE, CDC, & AVMA there is no evidence that people can get COVID-19 from pets.
Animal welfare charity, Animals Fiji, is now offering additional veterinary services via both phone and video utilizing their experienced Veterinarians based in Nadi and Savusavu. As of Thursday, the 2nd of April 2020, the charity is offering phone and video consults as an option to clients to ensure medical care can continue for both pets and farm animals alike. Animals Fiji Co-Founder & Managing Trustee, Casey Quimby stated that although diagnosing animals via phone or video has more limitations for diagnosing than a physical consultation it is still much better both for the animal and owner than receiving no Veterinarian advice at all. Casey went onto state that consultations via video and phone are being widely used through this global pandemic, however the difference with veterinarian services is that the patients being animals cannot communicate their symptoms which makes it more difficult than a human Doctor interacting with a human patient.
“We will operate using past records and information provided by the clients. We will depend on clients for history and physical examinations and go as far as providing prescriptions as needed. We need to adapt to challenges presented and not have them lessen the level of care that we have been providing for the animals of Fiji,” stated Dr. Ashitosh Kumar, Animals Fiji Veterinarian based in Nadi. Animals Fiji is offering this remote consultation service as of now via phone or video for a heavily subsidized rate of $10.90 per consultation and payments can be made through direct deposit, credit card, or via M-Paisa.
Both Dr. Kumar and Quimby went onto state that In-person consults and surgeries are still available Monday to Friday at the organization’s Nadi and Savusavu clinics, but this new remote service reduces physical contact and allows for greater physical distancing. Until further notice the Lautoka clinics have been suspended and Labasa clinic will remain closed until May.
The team at Animals Fiji also wanted to reassure all Fijians that there is plenty of international evidence available to confirm that the global spread the Covid-19 coronavirus does not affect the wellbeing of their animals. They have unfortunately seen some evidence of late whereby animals have been caused undue harm or mistreated due the members of public thinking the animal in question has contracted Covid-19. The abuse of animals is illegal and there is no reason to mistreat any animal in Fiji as a result of the current pandemic or for any other reason.
Animals Fiji provide a critical service to the community through their veterinary care, animal management, and sheltering services. Their services are essential to our communities in the Western and Northern Divisions and are committed to continuing with their essential services throughout these challenging times. Animals Fiji however asks all members of the public the following;
Please do NOT come to any of our Animals Fiji clinics if you are sick in any way!
We kindly request you call in advance, to ensure the proper amount of physical distancing is practiced. Even in the case of emergencies, please call in advance to ensure the clinic can be safely prepared.
Animals Fiji requests that only one family member / guardian attend per animal.
We are suspending our Shelter & Clinic Tour until further notice. Animals Fiji request that any non-essential visitors refrain from visiting the Nadi and Savusavu clinics until further notice.
Mission Statement: To improve the welfare of all animals--domesticate & wildlife--resulting in better lives for both the animal and humans of Fiji, while helping to build a society without animal cruelty.
Animals Fiji is a registered Fijian charity with a focus on animal welfare. We operate Veterinary clinics and welfare services in the Western and Northern Divisions of Fiji (a human population of over 600,000), where owners can seek treatment for their pets, livestock as well as wildlife. We operate as a welfare agency operating outreach programs and clinics throughout Fiji. One of our four clinics, Nadi, also functions a shelter taking in strays, injured and abused animals, who are treated and re-homed. Our most critical goal is to reduce the epidemic of stray and diseased roaming dog and cat populations that plague villages, towns and rural areas, through de-sexing (spay/neuter) programs. We ensure basic veterinary services and animal care education are available to as many Fijians as possible.