With your financial support you will enable implementation of our projects. Learn more about how it works. Thank you very much!


Our newsletter keeps you informed about our projects. You can sign up here.


You are here: vsf » Media library

News (en)


VSF-employee John Laffa wrote doctoral thesis on indigenous Maasai milk hygiene and preservation techniques in the Maasai steppe

John Laffa is working for VSF in Tanzania | © Veterinarians without Borders

The study area of John's doctoral thesis comprised the entire Maasai homeland in Tanzania | © Veterinarians without Borders

John Laffa lives in Tanzania and has been a competent employee of Veterinarians without Borders for years. The graduate expert in agriculture, livestock and animal breeding is enroled for a doctorate course in veterinary medicine at the Vetmeduni Vienna (VMU). At the Institute of Milk Hygiene at the VMU he now wrote his doctoral thesis on indigenous Maasai milk hygiene and preservation techniques.

To extend the life of their cattle's milk the Maasai rely on a special method. They keep the milk in smoke-treated calabashes (dried and hollowed gourds). Their hygiene know-how is transmitted across generations in the oral tradition. John's goal was to investigate this method and to preserve this knowledge for future generations. A total of 24 Maasai villages were visited to establish the key indigenous plants preferred and their traditional manner of use. These plants were then collected and scientifically classified. The study area comprised the entire Maasai homeland in Tanzania.

John belongs to the Sandawe who, as hunter-gatherers, have a strong understanding of nature. He has been supporting the Maasai in Tanzania for many years, is married to a Maasai woman and has two children. We are very happy to have John in our team!



More articles about this:

Insider's tip against sour milk in the East African steppe

Pharmacy in the middle of the Maasai steppe


Short video about smoke-treating of calabashes





© Veterinarians without Borders

Is there an end of food fraud in sight?

Our comments on the issue of food fraud over the last few weeks may have raised the question on...


The raw materials for our food are often produced in countries where controls are still inefficient | © Veterinarians without Borders

Food safety on global markets

An increasing quantity of resources, that were produced in Europe in the past, nowadays originates...


What counts is humanity - not only at Christmas

Weitere News


John Laffa sends Christmas greetings from Tanzania

Our Tanzanian employee John Laffa wishes all supporters and friends of Veterinarians without...

Maasai student Lucas Moreto successfully finishes diploma course!

We congratulate our Maasai student Lucas Moreto! As reported, Lucas is studying law at the TUDARCO...

Mogira - Der "Einstein" unter den Kühen

Kuh Mogira zählt bereits 12 Jahre und hat neuerdings sogar gelernt, die Wasserpumpe selbst zu...

Weitere Clips
Member of the network VSF International
VSF International