Zoetis has joined an exciting new initiative working to advance the standards of small animal veterinary care across Africa. The initiative officially launched at the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) meeting held in Birmingham, UK on April 5.
The African Small Companion Animal Network (AFSCAN) aims to facilitate the creation of a sustainable network of companion animal veterinarians, associations and specialist groups in sub-Saharan Africa. This network will facilitate the formation of new Small Animal Veterinary Associations (SAVAs) across the continent.
AFSCAN is a project of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Foundation, which funds improvements in the veterinary care of companion animals worldwide.
Zoetis will be the sole Animal Health industry member of the AFSCAN board along with WSAVA, the World Organisation for Animal Health and the Morris Animal Foundation.
“This initiative was led by the Zoetis Strategic Alliances department and realized in close collaboration with our local commercial colleagues,” explained Michelle Haven, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, Alliances and Solutions at Zoetis. “Through our work with AFSCAN, we’ll be well-positioned to develop valuable relationships with veterinary professionals in Africa’s emerging and developing markets. We will support the harmonization of the veterinary profession and further the “One Health” concept of animal and human health interconnectedness as well.”
"Africa is the world's second largest continent and contains some of the world's fastest growing countries,” said Dr. Gabriel Varga, President of the WSAVA Foundation and Director of Business Operations for the Zoetis North Europe region. “Unfortunately, it is also plagued by many dangerous diseases. While small animal veterinarians work hard, their numbers are few, they are geographically isolated and often held back by a chronic lack of training and support."
“Zoetis is thrilled to be a founding and board member of the AFSCAN project,” said Dr. Theo Kanellos, Director of EuAfME Strategic Alliances for Zoetis. “This unique initiative will bring significant value to the veterinary profession and will also provide practical support to fight devastating infectious and parasitic diseases of small animals which could potentially cross between species to affect humans.”
“This initiative will provide networking opportunities, training and resources for veterinarians taking care of companion animals in sub-Saharan countries. Our participation in this high profile project is a testament to the efforts Zoetis is undertaking to enhance care for companion animals in Africa,” said Greg Andrews, Vice President, Emerging Markets for the EuAfME region.
“Over the last few years, we have developed similar successful strategic initiatives with livestock veterinarians in China and India,” said Ms. Haven. “These collaborations have proven successful in advancing veterinary care standards and improving the health of animals. Through AFSCAN, we’ll now bring these advantages to veterinarians and companion animals in Africa.”
About the World Small Animal Veterinary Association
The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) is an umbrella organisation representing 145,000 veterinarians globally through 91 member associations. The WSAVA Foundation was founded in 2009 with the aim of acquiring funds for activities that can be delivered by clinical and laboratory specialists for the benefit of veterinarians globally.