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May 2015 - October 2015


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 friends,

I am delighted to present the third AFSCAN newsletter, showcasing some of the brilliant achievements made to advance the small companion animal veterinary profession in African countries.
We, as the board of AFSCAN strongly believe that having appropriately trained vets is of paramount importance in ensuring animal health and wellbeing, and to help encourage cohesive local communities. We feel that the AFSCAN key focus of establishing a sustainable network of centres of excellence and professional associations will greatly support the veterinary profession and animal health activities in Africa, helping to overcome the isolation of vets in rural areas and by providing accessible tailor-made education to promote continued professional development. Although our focus is in small companion animal medicine, we realise the huge potential to improve human health through the control of animal disease in-line with the One Health concept. The involvement of our partner, Mission Rabies, plays an instrumental role in reduction of rabies cases in the dog population through vaccination schemes alongside highly effective human health campaigns with local authorities, demonstrating a marked reduction in rabies incidence in the animal and human population. 
At Zoetis, as the leading global animal health company and AFSCAN sponsor, we are dedicated to supporting our customers and their businesses globally and this project is a great example of how we endeavour to make a difference to the veterinary profession and animals’ wellbeing in developing countries by joining effective alliances with other national and international organisations. Through our Commercial Alliances team, which is comprised of veterinary, scientific and business experts, we strive to develop impactful ventures and collaborations every day to help ensure that we improve the health and welfare of animals and to support the societies surrounding them.
Although AFSCAN is a recently formed initiative, we have already achieved significant success in Africa with the establishment of local veterinary associations in countries such as Namibia, and with mobilisation of resources proceeding well in order to meet our ambitious goals. We have also made significant progress with our AFSCAN scholarship schemes, welcoming applications for our first call for the Scientific Research Grants and Studentship Grants which are now open and which we feel will further strengthen the veterinary profession in that region.
The board of AFSCAN and its members have been very much energised by the positive feedback that we have received so far, and would like to extend an open invitation for productive collaboration with any individual or organisation that has a keen interest to support the veterinary profession and the wellbeing of small companion animals in Africa.
I really look forward to seeing the exciting progress of this excellent initiative in the coming months!

Theo Kanellos

Member of AFSCAN Project Board 
Director, Zoetis, Business Development and Commercial Alliances


Launch of the AFSCAN Scientific Research Grants
We are delighted to announce that the call for the AFSCAN Scientific Research Grants and the AFSCAN Studentship Grants is now open. These Grants will support the training and development of both veterinary students and academics working in Africa today and, we hope, inspire a new generation of African veterinary researchers. Importantly, we hope that they will also increase the current knowledge base of diseases and welfare issues affecting companion animals in African and build links between African veterinary researchers and laboratories around the world.The deadline for applications is 31 December 2015. Detailed information and application forms are available at
A big thank you for generous support goes to our sponsors Zoetis and Petplan Charitable Trust.
Application forms and detailed information available here
AFSCAN in Namibia
by Dr. Anselm Voigts
It is a great privilege for the Veterinary Association of Namibia to be part of the AFSCAN initiative under the very efficient leadership of Dr Gabriel Varga. The Veterinary Association of Namibia (VAN) was established as a branch of the SAVA in 1947. Since 1987 we have our own association, VAN. Namibia is a very arid country with a small population; our association has 120 members today, although only a small percentage is actively involved in small companion animal practice.​ One of the main initiatives of VAN is... 

The Story behind Mission Rabies

Rabies is a vicious disease. A recent study estimates that every year about 59,000 people die of rabies - that’s more than 160 people every day. 99% of all cases are transmitted by dog bites.
British veterinarian Dr Luke Gamble founded Mission Rabies in 2013, after seeing the devastation rabies brings to poor rural communities while volunteering for UK-based charity Worldwide Veterinary Service.
Determined to change the situation and save both human and animal lives Mission Rabies was... Read more 

Giving something back

Gabriel Varga recently contributed an article to UK publication Veterinary Record, explaining how his own life experience has made him so passionate about the AFSCAN initiative. With our thanks to Veterinary Record, you can read the full article.

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