Detailed findings during visit: Training unit at the Directorate of Veterinary Services: The training unit is part of the Epidemiology Division. It is headed by a veterinarian, Dr. Amuthenu, who was trained in Cuba, and did a distance learning M.Sc. at the University of Pretoria. This unit has been in place for 4 ½ years, and has been supported by a training technician for 1 ½ years, Mrs. Tjimune, who has a diploma in Agriculture. The aim of the unit is capacity building for sustainability and continuity for veterinary, technical and administrative staff of the VS and for farmers. The unit, which appeared quite active, was recently conducting their own training on HPAI prevention, as well as the use of new technology, such as the recently incorporated digital pens. This training is provided to the AHW, who then go to the field to train the farmers. They develop training material for internal training, and also Manuals for farmer awareness, re‐ settlement and overall stakeholder participation. A manual for community animal health agents has been developed by this section and translated into 6 languages (English, Oshiherero, Oshindonga, Ukawango, Silosi and Namadamara). They are currently preparing flyers for various important diseases in the country, and issue the “Vet News”, a quarterly newsletter of the DVS, which is issued to all staff, organisations, and local offices, available as paper version and in the internet. Orientation manuals for new staff members, containing all relevant forms and job descriptions have been developed, as well as a manual to assist new veterinarians prepare for the accreditation exam given by the Veterinary Council. An interim position has also been created within the VS to provide new veterinary graduates with expertise needed to pass the accreditation. They also manage a booth with education material at the Annual Farmers trade fairs. On continuing education, they have received support from the EU for courses in conjunction with the University of Pretoria for veterinarians and Animal Health Technicians. They also manage a program for funding the training of veterinarians, who are committed to then work for the VS for a period of two years after graduation. Currently they are funding a total of 17 students, who receive the financial support only if they pass their courses. The students who were studying in Zimbabwe have now been moved to Zambia.
Priorities/Recommendations Short Term : Complete continuing education programme by Statutory Body Formalize continuing education programme for personnel in the laboratory Medium / Long Term : Conduct a needs assessment, particularly for laboratory personnel.