WSAVA Foundation launches veterinarian network in Africa
Posted May 28, 2014
The World Small Animal Veterinary Association Foundation has launched the African Small Companion Animal Network to bring together companion animal veterinarians, associations, and specialist groups in sub-Saharan Africa.
The ultimate goal is formation of new small animal veterinary associations across the continent. According to the WSAVA Foundation, creation of such associations has proved pivotal in driving enhancements in standards of veterinary care in other regions, notably Eastern Europe.
The WSAVA Foundation developed the AFSCAN project with the backing of Zoetis and a consortium of other supporters. The first phase of the project runs from April 2014 until April 2016.
Project areas include funding specific veterinary projects, establishing links between veterinary researchers in Africa and those in American and European institutions, increasing support for and coordination of rabies control projects and setting up new rabies control projects, expanding training and continuing education for veterinarians and other veterinary professionals, and supporting surveillance systems to monitor infectious and parasitic diseases in companion animals.
“Africa is the world’s second-largest continent and contains some of the world’s fastest-growing countries,” said Dr. Gabriel Varga, president of the WSAVA Foundation and director of business operations for Zoetis in northern Europe. “While small animal veterinarians work hard, their numbers are few, (and) they are geographically isolated and often held back by a lack of training and support.
“Through AFSCAN, we aim to harness global support to build a networked community of individuals and institutions across Africa which can give immediate help in tackling zoonotic, infectious, and parasitic diseases in a more coordinated way. Longer term, it will help to create the sustainable infrastructure which is so important in supporting small animal veterinarians across the continent and driving up standards of veterinary care.”