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AFSCAN in Namibia

By Dr Anselm Voigts

It is a great privilege for the Veterinary Association of Namibia to be part of the AFSCAN initiative under the very efficient leadership of Dr Gabriel Varga. The Veterinary Association of Namibia (VAN) was established as a branch of the SAVA in 1947. Since 1987 we have our own association, VAN. Namibia is a very arid country with a small population; our association has 120 members today, although only a small percentage is actively involved in small companion animal practice. One of the main initiatives of VAN is the promotion of Continuous Professional Development, which we establish with the support of AFSCAN, WSAVA and our neighbouring South African colleagues as well as our partners in industry.

The major initiative revitalised and supported by AFSCAN in Namibia is the Rabies Eradication Scheme under the very professional and experienced guidance of Dr Luke Gamble from Mission Rabies. His experiences in India, Malawi and other countries with similar projects are of incredible value, which we can utilise without reinventing the wheel again. He paid a very intensive visit to Namibia to experience our local situation and start the planning of the Rabies Eradication Project. Luke is since then actively involved in the planning and preparation of the project. The veterinary profession in Namibia is proud that AFSCAN has selected Namibia as the first country where the Rabies eradication will be launched under the AFSCAN umbrella. The rabies project will be launched in the Namibian hotspot area, which is in the central northern Namibia, where the greatest density of human as well as dog populations and the highest incidence of canine and human rabies exists.

Unfortunately this project has currently suffered a setback as a result of an outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease in the same northern area, the first outbreak in the last 50 years. The FMD outbreak can have a disastrous economic impact on Namibia if not contained and extinguished in the area of the current outbreak. It is a huge burden on the whole Directorate of Veterinary Services, which needs their full attention at this stage. This has unfortunately delayed the start of the Rabies project, but the project will be implemented as soon as practically possible.


Dr Anselm Voigts, AFSCAN Ambassador in Namibia

Informative image: Dr Anselm Voigts
Informative image: Namibia Association

VAN EXCO (left to right) Dr Shepherd Sajeni, Dr. Anja Boshoff-de Witt, Dr Vimanuka Mutjavikua, Dr Elvira Kleber (PR), Dr Beate Voigts, Dr Baby Kaurivi (Vice-Chairperson), Dr Anselm Voigts (Chairperson), Dr Rainer Hassel (Treasurer), Dr Sandra Rogl (Secretary), Dr Adriaan Adank