Member Spotlight

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Meet the Vietnam Small Animal Veterinary Association (VSAVA)

The VSAVA was formed in 2010 to support the development of veterinary companion care all over the country. Companion animal veterinarians in Vietnam and neighbouring countries now look to VSAVA for services to help them maintain and increase their skills and knowledge. Associate Professor L E Quang Thong, VSAVA President and WSAVA Member Representative, tells us more:


How many members does VSAVA have and what is its mission?

VSAVA represents more than 150 members. They are veterinarians working in private practice, government, industry and academia. We aim to unite our community and support the development and exchange of scientific information. Our activities include:

  • Providing CE for our members
  • The publication of a veterinary journal
  • Running programs to serve our community, for instance, a scholarship for veterinary student and animal welfare activities.


What are the biggest challenges and opportunities facing veterinarians in Asia currently?

We face a number of challenges, including a lack of common standards for veterinary curricula and a lack of veterinary facilities and equipment. Opportunities for students to practice are limited as are general networking opportunities for the profession. The fact that English is the global language for the veterinary profession is a deterrent. Finally, we face challenges relating to animal welfare and from zoonotic disease, including rabies and leptospirosis.

We also see many opportunities. Numbers of companion animals are increasingly rapidly in Asia, as is people’s willingness to spend money on their pets. Vietnam now has almost nine million pet dogs and cats. Ten years ago, it was only five million. This is enabling us to develop our veterinary skills and to invest in clinics and hospitals which offer the latest equipment and technology. The trend for international exchanges within the Asian educational community is creating opportunities for veterinarians to develop their career, both in their home country and elsewhere in Asia. This is rapidly enhancing the standard of veterinary care we are able to offer.


Is VSAVA running any particular initiatives or campaigns at the moment?

We run a number of CE courses and workshops each year. Over the last four years, we have held events in Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Noi City and the Mekong Delta area in order to help develop veterinary skills right across our country. We publish our journal, the Veterinary Small Animal Journal, twice a year and run programs to help students, including a scholarship and the introduction of students for training at veterinary hospitals in other Asia Pacific countries. We also run animal welfare programs including spay/neuter campaigns.


Why do you think it is important that VSAVA members are also members of the WSAVA?

We want to be part of WSAVA in order to network with our colleagues and to help to create ‘one global voice’ for our profession. Membership offers many other benefits, including Standardization Guidelines, the opportunity to attend WSAVA World Congress, the opportunity to attend regional CE in Asia and the opportunity, within the WSAVA, to contribute to veterinary development across Asia.


How would you like to see the relationship between VSAVA and the WSAVA develop in the years ahead?

This year, we have moved from being an associate member of the WSAVA to becoming a full member. Full membership enables us to contribute more to WSAVA activities. The development of WSAVA-VSAVA CE is a good example. In 2010, the first WSAVA CE session held in Vietnam attracted 50 participants. In 2017, more than 200 veterinarians attended.

We hope to strengthen our relationship going forward by developing exchange opportunities. We also hope to host WSAVA World Congress in the future and to collaborate with WSAVA on an international conference/ symposium for Small Animals

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