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