The African Small Companion Animal Network (AFSCAN) is a project run by the WSAVA Foundation to enhance companion animal veterinary care across Africa through the creation of a sustainable veterinary network throughout the continent. It is led by WSAVA Foundation President Dr Gabriel Varga and supported by Zoetis, KRUUSE and a consortium of other organizations and businesses.
Since its launch in 2014, AFSCAN has made rapid progress in ‘capacity-building’ in sub-Saharan Africa and has played a key role in rabies control projects in support of charity Mission Rabies.
On 28 November it held its annual AFSCAN Ambassadors meeting in Kampala, Uganda, during the Ugandan Veterinary Association meeting. During this successful meeting:
- Each participating country updated colleagues on companion animal veterinary medicine in their country and AFSCAN’s contribution.
- Ghana was welcomed as a new member, joining the five existing AFSCAN members, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda.
- An innovative ‘twinning’ project was launched. Led by Dr Kevin Stevens from South Africa, it aims to build links between practices in the AFSCAN countries with those in countries where companion animal medicine is fully developed, initially in the USA. This project is being supported by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
Gabriel Varga says: “In just four years, AFSCAN has proved itself as a model that delivers real results in terms of developing companion animal medicine in participating countries, increasing veterinary education and creating a sustainable framework for the profession in Africa.
“2018 will be a year in which we make even more progress through continuing to develop country associations, promoting distance learning and making our annual research awards. We are also delighted to welcome new veterinary associations to the project and to launch our ambitious twinning program. Finally, I should also mention the importance of our work in helping to control rabies and other zoonotic diseases, primarily through our collaboration with Mission Rabies.
“I would like to thank Zoetis, KRUUSE, our AFSCAN Ambassadors and all of our other supporters for helping us to transform companion animal medicine in Africa.”