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OIE - AVTA - GALVmed Regional Conference on the role of veterinary para-professionals in Africa


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This is the first Conference dealing with veterinary para-professionals (VPP) at a continental scale. It is therefore befitting that the Conference is organised jointly by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the African Veterinary Technicians Association (AVTA). The Conference aims to improve the quality of the field work conducted in Africa by strengthening the linkages and collaboration between veterinarians and veterinary para-professionals.

The issue of how VPPs operate is particularly relevant to the African continent, due to its relative shortage of (qualified) veterinary surgeons, the sheer size of the rural areas and nomadic production systems they are faced with, and the consequential lack of oversight or supervision. The existence of community-based animal health workers (or CAHWs) is again not exclusive to Africa, but has been widely experimented in Africa, in situations of peacetime, and in areas of conflict.


Veterinary Para-Professional (VPP), as defined in the glossary of the OIE Terrestrial Code : "means a person who, for the purposes of the Terrestrial Code, is authorised by the veterinary statutory body to carry out certain designated tasks (dependent upon the category of veterinary para-professional) in a territory, and delegated to them under the responsibility and direction of a veterinarian. The tasks for each category of veterinary para-professional should be defined by the veterinary statutory body depending on qualifications and training, and according to need".

This definition therefore includes (according to the nomenclature used in the different countries) : animal health technologists, laboratory animal technologists, horse farriers and/or equine dental technicians, animal production officers / animal scientists / livestock officers, community-based animal health workers, vaccinators, extension officers, nurses, artificial inseminators, meat inspectors / food inspectors, veterinary laboratory technicians and animal health technicians, which may all be registered by the national Veterinary Council or Board, as confirmed by a 2013 paper by Bastiaensen et al. on the Veterinary Statutory Bodies (VSB) in Africa (download here).

As can be seen from the above list, some countries do include “community-based animal health workers” as being part of the veterinary-paraprofessionals and register them as part of the veterinary workforce under the Veterinary Council, legislation permitting.


The conference will bring together a limited number of African representatives of the national association / federation of PPV (in many countries there are several, for nurses, meat inspectors, laboratory technicians, field technicians, inseminators, etc ...) and secondly the representative of the veterinary authority (or OIE Delegate / CVO) and / or the veterinary statutory body (veterinary council). Based on the current membership of the African Veterinary Technicians Association (AVTA), the following 18 African countries have been invited to this first Conference : Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda.

The Conference will be organised in close partnership with the Africa Veterinary Technicians Association (AVTA) and the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVMed). It is co-funded by the South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), GALVMED and the OIE World Animal Health and Welfare Fund, using grants from the European Commission, in the framework of the Strengthening Veterinary Governance in Africa (VETGOV) project.





Africa Veterinary Technicians Association (AVTA) Nairobi (Kenya)

Benson Ameha

Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVMed) Edinburgh (UK)

Lois Muraguri

Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVMed) Nairobi (Kenya)

Samuel Adediran

South African Association of Veterinary Para-Professionals (Pretoria) South Africa

Johan Oosthuizen

South African Department of Veterinary Services (DAFF) Pretoria (South Africa)

Botlhe Michael Modisane

World Organisation for Animal Health (Paris) France

Monique Eloit

Catherine Bertrand - Ferrandis

World Organisation for Animal Health (Gaborone) Botswana

Moetapele Letshwenyo

Mpho Mantsho

World Organisation for Animal Health (Nairobi) Kenya

Patrick Bastiaensen