AFSCAN Announces New Initiatives for 2017

(21.11.2016) The African Small Companion Animal Network (AFSCAN) announced two new initiatives for 2017 as part of its work to drive up standards of veterinary care for companion animals in Africa. 

The new initiatives were announced during a meeting of the AFSCAN Board and Ambassadors from the five participating countries, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda.  The meeting was hosted by the Veterinary Association of Namibia (VAN) and took place prior to its annual congress at Swakopmund.


Dr Anselm Voigts, AFSCAN Ambassador, Namibia; Dr Olatunji Nasir, AFSCAN Ambassador, Nigeria, Professor Amandus Muhairwa, AFSCAN Ambassador, Tanzania

The initiatives are:

  • A pilot project in Kenya using which will involve veterinarians in using a tablet-based app to collect demographic and health-related data from dogs visiting veterinary practices. The information will provide a valuable baseline perspective on canine health in Kenya and has the future potential to be extended across the AFSCAN countries.  This project is being supported by the UK Petplan Charitable Trust
  • A ‘twinning program’ that will offer African veterinarians the opportunity to partner with a veterinary hospital in the USA. The project aims to provide a long-term mentoring relationship for the African veterinarian and the opportunity for the American partner to be directly involved in international veterinary development.  This project is being supported by Zoetis.

AFSCAN is an initiative from the World Small Animal Veterinary Association's (WSAVA) charitable Foundation.  It is working towards its goal of enhancing standards of veterinary care in Africa through the provision of online education and continuing education (CE) to veterinarians and through facilitating the creation of a sustainable network of small companion animal veterinary associations (SAVA’s) in the participating countries. 

It is also supporting rabies control projects in Africa in partnership with charity Mission Rabies and facilitating the development of a culture of companion animal clinical research. 

Launched in 2014 and backed by global animal health company Zoetis and veterinary supplies company, KRUUSE, AFSCAN is also supported by a Consortium of other sponsors.

In addition to the initiatives agreed at the meeting, the AFSCAN Board and Ambassadors finalized plans for the 2018 AFSCAN/NAVC and BSAVA International Scholar Programs for which applications will open in January 2017. 

They also discussed the 2017 AFSCAN Research and Studentship Awards, for which applications are open at http://www.afscan.org/science/. With the support of its sponsors, AFSCAN will fund up to two clinical research projects (each for US,000 over two years) and up to five studentships in 2017.

Dr Gabriel Varga, Chair of the AFSCAN Board and Director of Business Operations for Zoetis North Europe region, added: “The progress made by AFSCAN over the last three years is extraordinary and is a credit both to the Ambassadors and Board who have worked so hard to strengthen the companion animal veterinary communities in their own countries and to Zoetis, KRUUSE and the many other organizations which are generously supporting this transformational project. 

We say a huge thank you to all of them and to Dr Anselm Voigts and his team at VAN for hosting our meeting.”

“We are looking forward to the launch of our new projects for 2017. Looking ahead, we are also exploring how we can extend the benefits AFSCAN is bringing to other countries in Africa. 2017 is set to be another exciting year!”

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) is an umbrella organization representing almost 200,000 veterinarians globally through 101 member associations. The WSAVA Foundation was founded in 2009 with the aim of acquiring funds for activities that can be delivered by clinical and laboratory specialists for the benefit of veterinarians globally.




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