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Dr. Paisible Kulimushi

2021 Scholarship Recipient:

Internship, Lwiro Primates Rehabilitation Center (May 2021 – June 2022)

Paisible was born in 1992 in the village of Muhungu in the province of South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He is one of 15 children; his father worked for the government and his mother planted cassava, maize, beans, and bananas. The family raised a few cows and goats; every day after school, Paisible and his brothers looked for fodder for the goats. He obtained the state high school diploma having studied veterinary technology in his final years at l'Institut Technique Vétérinaire in Walunga.

Interested in the medical care of animals, he began his university studies in 2014 in the faculty of veterinary medicine at l'Université du Cinquantenaire de Lwiro in DRC. He graduated as a veterinarian in 2020. Eager to do work with wildlife but having no means to make that happen, Dr. Kulimushi worked for 12 months with Veterinarians Without Borders (Belgium). In addition to vaccinating farm animals for Rinderpest, he raised the awareness of local farmers on animal housing, nutrition, and preventative medical care. Paisible credits the experience with "teaching me to live in a multicultural setting with people of different social ranks".

Immediately upon hearing of the ConserVet scholarship opportunity, he applied and was selected. Although his internship training at Lwiro was focused on non-human primates such as chimpanzees and monkeys, he worked with parrots, other wildlife, and pets. He became comfortable with anesthetizing primates, parrots, and pet animals, including monitoring and the remote administration (darting) of anesthesia to wildlife. He learned and applied the principles of both clinical and preventative medicine to the patients and residents of the sanctuary. Paisible particularly appreciated “getting the education at two levels—the theory and the practical.” He had the opportunity to improve his surgical skills, including the management of trauma, spaying pets, and exploratory laparotomies. He became proficient at diagnostic specimen collection, routine laboratory analysis and techniques, and post-mortem (autopsy) examination.

Paisible recognizes how important the One Health approach is for the surveillance of emerging infectious diseases at the human-wildlife interface as well as in conservation efforts to preserve populations of critically endangered animals. In his words "the ConserVet scholarship allowed me to work with wildlife. By making it possible for African veterinarians to pursue higher education, the scholarships will save wildlife."

Dr. Kulimushi is currently in the role of senior veterinarian at the Lwiro Primates Rehabilitation Center.

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