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AFSCAN: A friend indeed

By Prof. Susan Mbugua

Gabriel Varga invited me to the inaugural AFSCAN board meeting in Nairobi in June 2014. The agenda of the meeting interested me a lot. You see, I have taught Small Animal Surgery in the University of Nairobi for many years. The number one frustration the Small Animal Practitioners face is lack of funds. The priority is food security for the people of Africa. Available resources are channeled to food animals and very little to Small Animals. Along comes a body purposefully constituted to address the deficit in Small Animal care in Africa. I was excited!

AFSCAN sponsored my attendance to the WSAVA meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, in September 2014. Besides gaining knowledge from the scientific presentations, I learnt more about AFSCAN and resolved to forge a closer association between the Kenyan veterinary fraternity and AFSCAN. I am spearheading the newly launched, AFSCAN affiliated KESCAVA (Kenya Small and Companion Animal Veterinary Association) as its Chairman. AFSCAN has so far supported us notably in the provision of Continuing Professional Development (CPD). The participants’ turnout has been overwhelming. Even before the KESCAVA launch, WSAVA sponsored a number of Small Animal CPDs in Kenya, through the personal efforts of Lawson Cairns of South Africa and Vijay Varma and Derick Chibeu of Kenya.

The first CPD organized by KESCAVA took place on 20th March 2015 and had 55 participants. KESCAVA has 42 bona fide members so far. We intend to apply for WSAVA membership, in the near future, to enable us to maximize our collaboration for the benefit of members and the African Small Animals.

We look forward to increased collaboration in the following areas:

  • CPD facilitation
  • Access to online journals
  • Student funding in areas of Small Animal Medicine at the core of AFSCAN goals
  • Access to reconditioned computers, microscopes and surgical instruments at affordable rates
  • Reducing human suffering in Africa that is caused by controllable zoonotic diseases like rabies and helminthiasis
  • Any other collaborative venture that may be identified in the future

Some of the participants in the Dermatology CPD held on 20th March 2015 given by Andrew Hillier of the Global Veterinary Dermatology Educat