In Todos Santos, Guatemala, our talented para-veterinarian, Andrés, has added a new skill to his resume – radio host! Given the restrictions in place with COVID, our education program in Todos Santos has been limited to interactions with clients, meaning we are not reaching the larger community and the local students in the ways we normally do to share important information about keeping themselves and their pets healthy. In February, we decided to test a new approach – a radio show that focuses on One Health topics related to dog and human health. For many of us, radio seems like a thing of the past, but as we’ve learned, in Todos Santos, it is a powerful communication tool.

Andrés on air in the studio

Since beginning the show in early February, Andrés has covered timely and relevant topics based on the needs he and the team have identified: vaccination schedules, nutrition for puppies and adult dogs, canine parvovirus, and zoonotic diseases (with an emphasis on rabies). The feedback and engagement has been overwhelmingly positive! People are calling with questions of all kinds and many are making appointments with Andrés and José David (our Community Animal Health Worker in-training) to seek treatment for their dogs based on something they have learned by listening to the radio program. Moreover, from January to March, appointments per month have increased by 222%! 

We feel that the buzz the program is generating is a great way to get the word out about the services we can offer through the telemedicine program (made possible by the generosity of our partners at Dogs Trust Worldwide), but also to get people thinking about the importance of responsible care for animals, including the ways it can impact their own health. If a radio program is what it takes to get people “tuned in” to these critical issues, we will continue delivering the content!

Join us in creating a healthier future in Todos Santos!