The World Veterinary Education in Production Animal Health (WVEPAH), a non profit organization, with partners like the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the University of Luxemburg and local Veterinary faculties has been giving high level training for 150 practicing poultry veterinarians from 22 countries during the last four years It took place in six countries (Veterinary faculties) selected as training Centers. Four new training Centers will be added to the network within the next twelve months. The courses are given in French, English, Spanish and in some cases, there will be translation into Chinese and Russian.
The aim of the WVEPAH training is to bring practicing poultry veterinarians to a standard level of competence as defined by the OIE, on all practical aspects of avian medicine and poultry production, and to certify them officially with a University certificate and an accreditation from the OIE. In North America and Western Europe there are Colleges that can certify the poultry veterinarians competence, but in the rest of the world, there is a complete void. This is what the WVEPAH is addressing in priority. The WVEPAH courses are practice-oriented with teachers also active in the field.
After a full month (2 times 2 weeks, a year apart) of on-site courses and practical work, the students -having succeeded the exam following each session- have to submit 25 clinical cases that they have encountered in their practice. If they are successful, they are recognised officially as veterinary poultry experts. The results of the exams are reflecting the quality of the veterinary training in general as well as the specific knowledge related to avian medicine and it is not always related to the country of origin of the candidates.
A very interesting part of this course is the tremendous quantity of information that we can gather from the field with the clinical cases submitted by the students. This reflects the reality of the daily practice of poultry veterinarians. We can see a huge difference between different parts of the world about the health of poultry and the incidence of certain diseases and the means of preventing or combatting them. It tells us that there is no universal solution toward the same problem, given the diversity of situations and resources.
The top priorities arising from our observations are:
- Biosecurity, epidemiology, prevention.
- Rationalization of antimicrobials usage.
- Access to public diagnostic laboratories in many parts of the world.
- Approaches to contain (or control) avian influenza, Newcastle disease (ex. eradication vs vaccination).
- Professionalization of poultry production and producers organizations.
- Broadening the basic scientific knowledge of poultry veterinarians.