WSAVA Continuing Education Sub-Saharan African report 2018 for BSAVA International Affairs Committee

12 December 2018

“WSAVA are extremely grateful to the ongoing funding from the BSAVA International Affairs Committee for their sub-Saharan Africa Continuing Education work. As ever WSAVA’s regional coordinator, Dr Lawson Cairns, worked incredibly hard to organise a full programme of events, and funding from BSAVA ensured that we were again able to continue to reach a wide range of countries.

The CE programme for 2018 started in Kenya in February. We have been working in close partnership with the WSAVA Dental Guidelines Group this year and were delighted that Dr Cedric Tutt from South Africa was able to deliver lectures and a workshop for us on the Dental Guidelines in Nairobi. The Kenyan small animal association (KESCAVA) is really going from strength to strength and are now organising several CE meetings per year, increasingly attractingly delegates from surrounding countries. An unanticipated benefit of the CE programme is that it seems to furnish local organisers with the skills and networks to be able to organise their own successful CE meetings; Kenya is a great example of a country who may not need financial support for much longer as a result of this.

In April, we were pleased that surgical lectures from Dr Greg Irvine-Smith could form part of the Zambian Small Animal Veterinary Association’s first two-day conference. This ensured both lower costs and attendance from a wider audience than in previous years, including several from the neighbouring countries of Angola and Democratic Republic of Congo who are not yet part of the CE programme. Dr Irvine-Smith also delivered very popular lectures on surgical topics in Gabarone, Botswana in October.

WSAVA CE stalwart Dr Martin de Scally travelled to Zimbabwe in September to lecture on a range of topics related to internal medicine and infectious diseases; fortunately, his visit avoided both political disturbances and religious festivals which have limited attendance in recent years. We were delighted that Dr Jeannie Budgen from the USA was able to lecture in Lilongwe, Malawi in October as part of the Global Veterinary Dermatology Education Group (GVDEG) pro-bono lecturer scheme. She delivered two days of lectures and visits to a local clinic to teach hands on, practical dermatology which was very well received by both veterinary surgeons and students.

Also in October, Dr Andrew Leizewitz kindly travelled to Mozambique to deliver lectures on dermatology to a very engaged and grateful audience. Dr Antony Goodhead delivered lectures and practical sessions in both Mauritius and Ghana on ophthalmology, using cases under the care of local veterinary surgeons to demonstrate how to use an opthalmoscope. Tanzania hosted the African Small and Companion Animal Network (AFSCAN) regional meeting in December and WSAVA CE lectures were kindly provided by members of their Board including Professor Michael Day and Remo Lobetti after the meeting. Unfortunately, Madagascar could not receive CE this year for logistical reasons but we are planning to deliver lectures on soft tissue and orthopaedic surgery in early 2019.

Finally, I was fortunate to be invited to lecture on canine and feline endocrinology in Lagos, Nigeria as part of their Small Animal Veterinary Association of Nigeria two-day event. I was truly inspired by the enthusiasm of both delegates and local organisers, and greatly enjoyed visiting several local clinics. Nigeria faces similar challenges to many other African countries including unreliable electrical supplies, a humid climate, a high prevalence of infectious disease and a human population for whom companion animal veterinary care can be a luxury item. It was very useful to see first-hand how the profession are developing and innovatively adapting to these problems.

Huge thanks must go to the Global Veterinary Dermatology Education Group (GVDEG) for their ongoing support in finding us excellent speakers who will work pro bono, and to the Dental Guidelines group who covered Dr Tutt’s air fare to Kenya. Delivering WSAVA CE in Africa would not have been possible without the efforts of our regional coordinator Lawson Cairns, the local coordinators working in each CE-recipient country who have worked particularly hard this year finding additional sponsorship, and our incredible speakers who are prepared to get on a plane, often to visit a country new to them, to spend their free time teaching. As the outgoing Chair, I am immensely grateful to everyone involved.

I have attached some photographs from this years’ meetings below. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions.

Best wishes,

Zoe Belshaw

WSAVA CE Chair 2017-2018”