Symposium VET 2011 – Veterinary Medicine in the tropics
Symposium jointly organized by be-troplive, VSF Belgium and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Liège
On a sunny autumn day, Saturday afternoon October 15, 2011, about 100 people from 19 different countries gathered at the Veterinary Faculty of Liège to attend the above mentioned symposium. The objective of the Symposium was to celebrate the Veterinary Year under the flag ‘VET 2011’, to look back on Veterinary Medicine in the Tropics and to highlight the global eradication of Rinderpest.
The participants were welcomed with an outdoor buffet-lunch, and after some initial networking, the afternoon started with the welcome address given by Jean-Paul Dehoux, chairman of be-troplive, and Jean-Luc Hornick, on behalf of the Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Liège. The University of Liège was celebrating 175 years of Veterinary Medicine, and welcomed the event as part of more extensive celebrations.
Under Jean de Borchgrave’s skilful moderating, the programme started with the first theme: Belgian vets in the tropics. This theme handled the impact of Belgian veterinarians and foreign students trained in Belgium on the development of animal health and related aspects of countries in the South.
Stanny Geerts gave an overview of the Belgian veterinary profession, with special relation to the tropics. He started with an historical overview on the creation of the veterinary medicine, animal health and production training, and concluded with highlighting a few projects, of which some had been more, and others less successful.
The Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) and Liège veterinary training courses alumni networks were presented by Redgi de Deken and Jean-Luc Hornick respectively, and these were followed by field testimonies. Two African alumni gave an overview of their career and described the impact that the training in Belgium had had on their abilities and realisations.
Bagoré Bathily presented the ‘ La Laiterie du Berger’ project, where an extensive network of collection and selling points for milk has been created, which had an upgrade effect on the locally produced milk resulting in the consumers’ increased appreciation. This is an example of a realisation based on a combination of technical (veterinarian) and marketing skills.
Boukary Abdou Razac talked about his career in animal health and production and his current research work on the zoonotic diseases tuberculosis and brucellosis in Niger. During his career he has worked with several Belgian institutions and has been involved in both field and academic work.
In the second theme, cheerfully moderated by Dirk Berkvens, the official worldwide eradication of Rinderpest was highlighted.
Patrick Bastiaensen of the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) started with a general presentation on how this giant task had been approached. Bryony Jones then gave a presentation on the practical way this issue had been dealt with in Sudan, a war torn country (she worked in a VSF-led project for several years). She focused on the role of community based animal health methods.
Jérôme Bindelle, chairman of BEDIM (Bureau for Exchange and Distribution of Information on MiniLivestock), gave an account of this organisation’s encouragement to breed small species useful for man. Afterwards, the first ‘Prize BEDIM André Buldgen’ was awarded by Mrs Buldgen to David Kouakou for his work on Guinea pig breeding in Ivory Coast followed by a presentation of the laureate’s work to the audience.
The day was concluded by Jean-Paul Dehoux. He thanked the hosting organisation, the authorities involved and all the attendees and festivities continued during the subsequent reception.
The programme, photos, abstracts and presentations can be consulted by clicking on their respective links, on the right of this page.