Twenty-two animal health and production workers as well as biosecurity officers from Vanuatu are undergoing specialised summer school training in Port Vila and Santo, Vanuatu, over the next two weeks (19–30 September) to become certified para veterinarians.
The trainees are from Vanuatu’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, Forestry and Biosecurity (MALFFB) and the Vanuatu Agriculture College in Santo.
The course covers a range of assessments including theory, tutorials and field activities under the supervision of veterinarians from MALFB and the Pacific Community (SPC).
“With a shortage of qualified veterinarians and livestock production specialists in the region, SPC in collaboration with The University of the South Pacific and Agricultural Development for the American Pacific (ADAP) developed a distance learning non-resident para-vet training course composed of 12 units covering animal health, animal production, zoonosis and biosecurity,” SPC’s Animal Health and Production Adviser, Dr Ilagi Puana, explained.
“The 22 trainees have so far successfully completed 16 weeks of distance learning introductory para-vet training that was launched in April, earlier this year. Once they successfully complete this course, the trainees will be awarded certificates endorsed by USP and SPC,” Dr Puana said.
Para-vets are the eyes and ears of vets and are the first points of contact for farmers needing assistance and trained para-veterinarians are vital for supporting the viability of the Vanuatu’s livestock production sector and its thriving beef export industry.
The para-veterinary course consists of three assignments and a one week summer school at the end of the 16-week course, during which trainees are assessed for their competency by SPC and local vets. Final assessment comprises an oral and practical exam as well as a written exam at the end of the summer school.
The trainees from Vanuatu’s Southern region are currently undertaking the summer school course in Port Vila and those in the Northern region will start their assessment in Santo on 26 September.
Lonny Bong, Director, Department of Livestock, Port Vila, Vanuatu ( firstname.lastname@example.org) + 678 7710062 / 5388083
Tekon Timothy Tumukon, Director, Biosecurity Vanuatu, Port Vila, Vanuatu ( email@example.com ) + 678 23519 / 678 33580
Dr. Israel Wore, Senior Veterinary Officer (North), Biosecurity Vanuatu, Luganville, Santo, Vanuatu ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) +678 7104316
Elenoa Salele, SPC Animal Health and Production Information Assistant ( email@example.com ) +679 7329647
Dr Ilagi Puana, SPC Animal Health and Production Adviser ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) +679 8619093