SAVAN was formed from the vestiges of Veterinary Clinicians’ Forum in Nigeria with the support of the WSAVA Foundation’s AFSCAN project. AFSCAN then facilitated its admission into membership of the WSAVA in 2015. Dr Olatunji Nasir, Medical Director and CEO at Truthmiles Animal Hospital, AFSCAN Ambassador for Nigeria and Vice President of SAVAN tells us more:
What is SAVAN’s mission?
We have just over 200 members and work to harness their potential for the collective benefit of all of us and our patients, by standardizing our practices, organizing continuing education (CE) in a sustainable way, mentoring students - the future leaders of our profession - and by maintaining a sense of fellowship among our members.
What are the main challenges faced by companion animal veterinarians in Nigeria?
We face many challenges, including a lack of equipment and limited access to the veterinary therapeutics we require to offer a high standard of care to our patients. The lack of access to CE is also an issue. Levels of poverty in the country affect the ability of small animal practitioners to run successful businesses while inconsistent government policies towards business are also having an impact.
We have made good progress, working together to create CE programs, sharing practice experiences on our social media platforms and assisting each other in acquiring equipment. We have also embarked on setting up mentoring visits to higher institutions.
What progress have you seen in the last few years?
We are working with the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association on rabies awareness in our communities and formulating animal welfare ethics for our practices for the benefit of our patients.
Are you running any particular initiatives or campaigns at the moment?
You’re involved in the WSAVA Foundation’s AFSCAN project. How is it helping companion animal practice in Nigeria – and more widely in Africa?
AFSCAN has focused a spotlight on the small animal practice community in Nigeria. It has helped us to revitalize the sector and reintegrated us to the WSAVA global community with all the attendant benefits of WSAVA membership. Without doubt, we have received huge benefits from our membership of the WSAVA and from the support offered by the WSAVA Foundation’s AFSCAN project. We look forward to continuing to play our part in the WSAVA’s global community.