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THE CHANGE AFSCAN HAS BROUGHT TO THE PROFESSION IN KENYA

AFSCAN was launched in June 2014 in Nairobi.

The date started well amid bright sun. It finished in a heavy downpour, which in our African belief, signified blessings.

AFSCAN has been a big blessing for the small animal practice in Kenya. In a country which is not food sufficient, emphasis of any funding is put on food production. Dogs are not for eating in Africa. Rather they are for guarding the homestead even as they are not strictly pets in the western world sense of the word. Few, if any, small animal projects are funded

AFSCAN and WSAVA came in and sponsored experts to give seminars which have continued to attract more and more participants every time. We have had world experts in Ophthalmology, Cardiology, Dermatology, Clinical Pathology and Internal Medicine. The Kenya Small and Companion Animal Veterinary Association, KESCAVA, would not have afforded to bring them to the country.

Prof. Jill Maddison and Prof. David Church with KESCAVA participants in an Internal Medicine course they gave in March 2016

As a result of this renewed vigor in matters small animals vets have been sensitized about the need to rid our country of rabies. They come out in large numbers during rabies vaccination campaigns. Young children, especially boys, are targeted in animal welfare sensitizations, as they are the ones who spend the most time with dogs.

Boys and their dogs during a rabies vaccination campaign in Kenya

Availing scholarships to do clinical research in small animals has been an added boost for post-graduate students who have opted to research in small animal. Sponsorship to international meetings has given students an opportunity to attend high caliber meetings outside Africa. I was the lucky beneficiary of the 2016 BSAVA scholarship, which allowed me to attend this year’s congress in Birmingham. The 2017 BSAVA beneficiary is also Kenyan and I am excited that he will be exposed to high quality scientific presentations from which I expect him to learn. There is also the annual NAVC scholarship, which has exposed other African participants to American scientific presentations.

AFSCAN members appear to be the main beneficiaries in this association but I hope that the visitors have benefited from their exposure to the difficult conditions we work in and maybe been more appreciative of the advantages offered by the countries in which they live. I also hope they have enjoyed our wildlife and cultural diversity and that they would not hesitate to return if asked to do so.

Long Live the association of KESCAVA with AFSCAN and WSAVA