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March 2016 - August 2016


Mission: AFSCAN is a global initiative which facilitates capacity building in the African veterinary community to enhance quality in small companion animal medicine with a One Health perspective
An initiative of    supported by 

Dear AFSCAN colleagues,

I am honored to introduce the fifth AFSCAN newsletter. We hope it will update you on the significant progress we have made this year, in collaboration with our colleagues in Africa.

At the time I was invited to join AFSCAN, I had just become a member of the WSAVA One Health Committee and was also a member of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). My involvement with the WSAVA was the first step in a growing partnership between both organizations.

We are all bound by the One Health concept. The OIE, as the international standard setting organization for animal health and animal welfare, is responsible for dealing with zoonosis and providing recommendations as to how to prevent human infections. It is clear to me that it is the small animal practitioner who is best positioned, not only to address zoonotic diseases such as rabies, but also, who is likely to be the first to detect an emerging disease affecting companion animals. It is thanks to the partnership between with OIE and the WSAVA that small animal practitioners have now joined other veterinary professionals, who have historically been more familiar with the work of the OIE. It is a very positive development! 

As you’ll read in the newsletter, AFSCAN is fostering new partnerships in the spirit of One Health. It is, for instance, supporting the development of several Small Animal Practitioners Associations in Africa, using canine rabies vaccination campaigns as models. The OIE is reinforcing these efforts by involving Chief Veterinary Officers from the countries concerned to create strong private-public partnerships to help in the fight against canine rabies. After all, what better One Health victory could there be than to jointly eradicate canine rabies throughout Africa? It is good to see how the Uganda Small Animal Practitioner’s Association continues to grow in membership and to participate actively in AFSCAN activities. They are an example to other African associations.

The newsletter also contains an update on the first recipients of the AFSCAN Research and Studentship Awards. Two academics - one from Nigeria and one from Tanzania - have received research awards funding very relevant research projects. We have also awarded the first Studentship Award. A Tanzanian veterinary undergraduate has been selected to participate in a research project related to animal health and welfare in Africa. We look forward to hearing about their results of their projects in due course.

The newsletter also highlights the meeting held at the OIE in May, during its 84th General Assembly in Paris. This year’s meeting was notable for the important contribution made by the representatives from Kenya and Uganda on their approach to One Health challenges in their countries. We are hopeful that through meetings such as these and our other work, we will mobilize other private and public veterinarians to work together in promoting animal and public health. 

Dr. Alejandro Thiermann

Member of AFSCAN Project Board
President, Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Commission
World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)

AFSCAN Welcomes KRUUSE as an Additional Main Sponsor

Global veterinary equipment supplier KRUUSE has increased its sponsorship of the African Small Companion Animal Network (AFSCAN), an initiative run by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association's (WSAVA) charitable Foundation to enhance standards of veterinary care for companion animals in Sub-Saharan Africa.  In so doing, it has become an additional Main Sponsor alongside Zoetis, which has been the Main Sponsor since AFSCAN was launched in 2014. Read more

AFSCAN announces first Research and Studentship Awards

At a press briefing during BSAVA Congress in Birmingham in April 2016, Professor Michael Day announced the first recipients of the AFSCAN Research and Studentship Awards. The Awards were launched in 2015 and aim to promote small animal clinical research relevant to the African continent and to support the training and development of veterinary students and academics working in Africa. The Awards are supported by organizations including Zoetis and the Petplan Charitable Trust.  Read the full story here.  

 May 2016: AFSCAN countries meet at OIE General Assembly meeting in Paris

It has become a tradition that our AFSCAN Board member Alejandro Thiermann, a leading executive at OIE in Paris, together with Gabriel Varga, President of the WSAVA Foundation, organize a working luncheon during the General Assembly Meeting of the OIE in Paris. At each meeting, we update each other on AFSCAN’s activities and brainstorm new ideas. 

This year, the key topics under discussion were:
The Scientific and Mobility Grants Awards (Are these different to the Science and Research Awards)
Ways in which we could look to involve government officials further in AFSCAN activities
Approaches which could help us to evaluate the economic impact of AFSCAN’s work
Several other good ideas were raised during a very useful meeting and we look forward to following up these discussions during the meeting in Namibia in October, as well as our meeting in Paris next year. 


 AFSCAN and USAPA Collaboration Proves Fruitful
by Dr. Berna Nakanwagi

The Uganda Small Animal practitioner’s Association (USAPA) has continued to grow in membership and activity as a result of associating with AFSCAN. In addition to availing USAPA members with opportunities for continuous professional development of which I was personally a beneficially, AFSCAN supported USAPA with... Read more on AFSCAN website

 AFSCAN annual meeting in Namibia

The 2016 Annual AFSCAN Board meeting with our Ambassadors will take place on Swakopmund, Namibia, on Wednesday 26 October, running alongside the Namibian Veterinary Conference

The meeting is a follow up to our 2015 meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, at the headquarters of the OIE, at which the initial AFSCAN roadmap was presented and agreed with the participating countries. We have achieved a great deal over the last year and look forward to discussing issues including the strong growth in membership of veterinary associations in AFSCAN countries, the progress of these associations towards full membership of the WSAVA, next steps with our educational program, the NAVC and BSAVA scholarships and our plans for the further promotion of AFSCAN through social media. We are grateful to Dr. Anselm Voigts, AFSCAN Ambassador in Namibia, for kindly offering to host this meeting.

Cartagena Fun(d) Run 2016
Don't forget that WSAVA World Congress is approaching. If you are attending, sign up now for the 2016 WSAVA Foundation Fun(d) Run which will take place on 30 September 2016 in Cartagena, Colombia.
Sign up for the Cartagena Fun(d) Run 2016
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