The EXPEDITION project interview #02

Vet Books for Africa has another wonderful opportunity to talk with the cool people of the EXPEDITION project tomorrow, on the 24th of August, at 1 pm EDT/5 pm GMT/ 7 pm CAT! Our awesome leader, Gerhard Gregory will be informing you what we have been up to behind the scenes in preparation for our trip.

To refresh your memory, the EXPEDITION project is an amazing organisation that was started back in 2011. They work to connect projects, communities, ideas and individuals with each other, to share their successes and even help them further with contacts, expertise and funding.

They are an amazing group that connects inspiring, sustainable projects with each other and with the resources they need, and it shares their stories with the world. Go and have a look at their website: https://theexpeditionproject.org/


If you want to watch our interview tomorrow and have amazing access to other wildlife specialists and project videos, join their Facebook group:

 https://www.facebook.com/groups/theexpeditionproject/ 

To ask live questions during the interview, follow this link: https://theexpeditionproject.com/live/

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Bumber-Stickers-04-e1587213491428-1024x346.png

World Veterinary Day 2020

According to the World Veterinary Association environmental, human and animal health are inextricably linked. Every veterinarian will know the truth of this and how important the concept of “one health” is.

Today is World Veterinary Day 2020, and the theme is so relevant: Environmental protection for improving animal and human health.

The American Veterinary Medical Association is spot on when they say that veterinarians play an integral role in human and environmental health, in addition to caring for animals.

Environmental protection is to protect the natural environment, to conserve natural resources and the existing natural habitats we have. It is also to reverse harmful trends and repair damage already done.

Environmental protection is something that needs to mean something to every one of us, as we all live on this beautiful planet and are well aware that we only have one such like it. Environmental protection is taking the responsibility of protecting our planet and all that is on it today to make sure that it is still there tomorrow.

Environmental protection invariably links with conservation if we think of the animals that inhabit our beautiful earth!

Vet Books for Africa is empowering veterinarians in Africa so they can be even better ambassadors of One Health. We want veterinarians up in Africa to look after wildlife, production and domestic animals to the best of their abilities. At the end of the day this is meaningful work, as it also improves the health of people!

On our trip we will be visiting conservation sanctuaries along the way and helping them in any way we can. We aim to make people aware about the work they are doing and encourage them to support them in their fight to conserve animals and the environment they live in.

We will also be visiting schools along the way where we plan to teach children about the benefits of looking after animals, of being aware of the importance of animals and how important it is to look after the habitat they live in. We will convey to them how we need to live as one with our animals, especially in times like these where wildlife trade and encroaching on the environment are realities in our world.

Environmental protection is a very broad field with many diverse aspects to it that affects the whole world, but we will make sure to do our part in promoting and advancing conservation in Africa to protect their animals. As it is directly linked to human and environmental health, we know that it is worth the fight and ends up making a very big difference in the world.

Happy World Veterinary Day 2020!

The EXPEDITION project live stream

The EXPEDITION project is a very cool organisation that was started back in 2011. They strive to connect projects, communities, ideas and individuals with each other, to share their successes and even help them further with contacts, expertise and funding.

They have collectively traveled 32054 km, visited 353 towns and 152 projects – with the help of 405 hospitality partners, they try to meet and understand the challenges communities face.

They are an amazing group that connects inspiring, sustainable projects with each other and with the resources they need, and it shares their stories with the world. Go and have a look at their website: https://theexpeditionproject.org/

VBFA has the great opportunity to be a guest on one of the EXPEDITION project’s Live streams on the 18th of April! Our chairperson, Gerhard Gregory, will be doing live video and Q&A session.


If you want to watch us tonight and have amazing access to other wildlife specialists and project videos, join their facebook group:

 https://www.facebook.com/groups/theexpeditionproject/ 

Win a HESC Wildlife Experience

Win a wildlife conservation experience! The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC), a partner of Vet Books for Africa (VBFA), focuses on wildlife conservation through the breeding of vulnerable and threatened species (in particular the cheetah), the rehabilitation of rhinos that have become victims of poaching, releasing animals back into the wild and creating an awareness of wildlife conservation. Cheetahs and rhinos are only some of the different species you’ll encounter at HESC! 

Read more about what HESC does on this link – https://hesc.co.za 

Stand a chance to WIN a 5-day wildlife conservation experience at HESC, valued at R10 400. This includes accommodation, food, assisting in caring for the HESC animals and observing veterinary procedures that may occur during your stay.

This is a great opportunity for any veterinary student to gain valuable wildlife experience and to learn about the animals’ diet, behaviour and veterinary interventions.

* To win this Wildlife Conservation Experience we ask that each participant raises USD 500 (around R7 500) for the Vet Books for Africa initiative. 

* This can be done in any way, from cash to EFT (for EFT use your name as reference) 

* It does not have to be one single amount, but can be multiple smaller amounts adding up to USD 500. 

* The competition will run throughout the year and every student has the opportunity to use the entire year to raise the money. 

* There can be more than one winner. Every single student who reaches the USD 500 goal will have the opportunity to join in this incredible experience. 

* Global Giving is our online crowd funding platform where you can easily donate from the comfort of your home by scanning a barcode. We encourage all participants to use this as a fundraising tool for easier and faster transaction. (Once again, make sure the person donating puts YOUR NAME as a note so that we know the money came from your fundraising efforts). 

For any questions contact Xander van Eeden on either: info@vetbooksforafrica.org or 072 820 1834

Wildlife trafficking and its role in the spread of COVID-19

As the world faces a horrible pandemic in the form of COVID-19, times are uncertain in this global crisis. Governments across the world call for lockdown of their countries. Businesses, schools, institutions everywhere are closed down for the time being. Cities and towns are silenced as everyone is called to stay at home.

Yet, conservation doesn’t go on lockdown even when the world is upside down. We honor the field rangers, veterinarians, technicians, anti-poaching staff and everyone else that are involved in the noble act of conserving our earth’s beautiful animals.

During this pandemic focus is put even more on wildlife trafficking, which many authorities say play a role in the spread of the corona virus across countries. Wildlife trafficking is a deadly, criminal business which involves the unlawful harvest of and trade in live animals and plants, or products that come from them. Wildlife is traded as skins, leather goods or souvenirs; as food or traditional medicine; as pets and various other miscellaneous forms. Wildlife trafficking causes a serious threat to wild animals and biodiversity; and what makes it seriously unacceptable is the fact that it is wholly unsustainable. It irrevocably harms wildlife populations and pushes endangered species toward extinction. We are currently going through the fastest rate of species lost ever in history!
 
Wild animal trades can lead to outbreak of diseases across countries via wet markets. Wet markets are markets that sell live poultry, fish, reptiles and mammals of every kind. There has been reports of the corona virus breaking out at a wet market in Wuhan and this has raised some concerns regarding the consumption of wild meat possibly transmitting the virus. For this reason, China has recently banned the consumption of wildlife animals and thus closed down wet markets all over the country.

But wet markets also sell all kinds of other fresh produce like fruits and vegetables. Across the world, wet markets are an important part of the local economy and an important source of food for people. There is also no proof that the virus is transmitted through eating any meat. It can, however, be transmitted in unhygienic conditions by someone that is COVID-19 positive and handling the produce. Current evidence shows that although corona viruses look to be stable at low and freezing temperatures for a certain time, food hygiene and good food safety practices can prevent their transmission. Thus the outbreak at Wuhan has only highlighted the common unhygienic conditions of wet markets that should be addressed.

China has now decided to reopen its wet markets again, much to the relieve of the people, and rightly so. Wet markets is not the real problem; unhygienic conditions together with the trade of wildlife is. Problems arise when the legal market is used by criminals to sell trafficked animals, and where wildlife is kept, sold and butchered in unhygienic conditions.

While China has banned wildlife’s consumption, it has not prohibited its use in medicine, and that is still a huge problem. Bear bile and rhino horn are now recommended to treat COVID-19. Bear bile contains ursodeoxycholic acid that can help dissolve gallstones and treat liver disease and can even be anti-inflammatory, but there is no evidence that it can treat COVID-19. According to the World Health Organisation, there exists no cure against the virus at this stage. Rhino horn is made of keratin, the same protein found in human nails or hair. It has not been proven to have medicinal value in curing viruses.

As the world focuses on the COVID-19 pandemic, this is an opportune time to put the spotlight on illegal wildlife trafficking; highlighting how it plays a role in spreading diseases worldwide and demanding of authorities and governments to take action against the awful crime of the cruel trade of animals.

As of now, we aren’t sure what will happen to our trip that is scheduled to take place at the end of the year. We will take all factors into consideration when deciding what the way forward should be. For now, we will continue to plan and raise funds for our trip with the most positive outlook we can muster.

If we are able to continue with our trip, we will make sure to educate the communities we come across on the repercussions of poaching, and how in the grand scheme of things, detriment of animals actually leads to the detriment of man – something that COVID-19 has made painfully obvious.

Vet Books for Africa will stay committed to its mission during these trying times. And with COVID-19 putting a spotlight on the illegal trade of wildlife, we hope that some good will come out of these tragic times and that conservationist’s voices across the world will be heard with new attention and received with more seriousness.

University Post: Sokoine University of Agriculture

Our most recent University that has confirmed to receive us is the Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania!

Est. 1984

Motto: “Ardhi ni Hazina” (Land is treasure)

Chancellor: Hon. Joseph Sinde Warioba

Vice chancellor: Prof. Raphael Tihelwa Chibunda

Students: 7228

Vision: To be a leading University in the provision of quality knowledge and skills in agriculture and allied sciences.

Mission: To promote development in agriculture, natural resources and allied sectors through training, research and delivery of services.

Core values:
– Pursuit of excellence in service delivery
– Entrepreneurial and innovative spirit
– Competitive orientation
– Integrity, transparency and accountability
– Results/Achievement oriented
– Diligence on duty
– Adaptive and responsive
– Freedom of thought and expression
– Gender sensitive
– Continuous learning

The university has a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine, which has the main aim of producing qualified and practically competent veterinarians who can contribute to the development of the animal industry, public health sector, biomedical research and improvement of living standards.

We are so excited to help them out and contribute towards their aim of producing quality veterinarians!

University Post: The University of Zimbabwe

We look forward to visit the University of Zimbabwe, situated in Harare, on our trip at the end of the year!

Est. 1955

Motto: Knowledge, Diligence, Integrity

Chancellor: Emmerson Mnangagwa (President of Zimbabwe)

Vice Chancellor: Professor Paul Mapfuno

Students: 20 399

Univeristy of Zimbabwe prayer:
Eternal and ever-blessed God, we offer Thee our worship and our praise. We worship Thee that Thou art the Lord and Giver of Life, the Creator and Sustainer of men.

We praise Thee for, that in every generation, Thou hast called men and women to high and noble enterprise and, calling them, Thou hast endowed them with the grace and strength necessary for the task. Look on us, we pray Thee, who are committed here to a mighty enterprise and grant us the assurance of the guidance of Thy Holy Spirit, giving us wisdom and courage and tenacity that we falter not in our design.
Amen

Core values:

Knowledge
Diligence
Integrity
Innovativeness
Professionalism

The university has a Faculty of Veterinary Science, with three departments:
Preclinical Veterinary Science
Clinical Veterinary Science
Paraclinical Veterinary Science

We look forward to helping them expand their faculty greatly on our trip!

Look out for our next blog post coming soon!

University post: Makerere University in Kampala

One of the Universities we look forward to visiting is Makerere University in Uganda!

Est. 1922

Motto: We build for the future

Chancellor: Ezra Suruma

Vice Chancellor: Barnabas Nawangwe

Students: Over 35 000

Vision: To be the leading institution for academic excellence and innovations in Africa.

Mission: To provide innovative teaching, learning, research and services responsive to National and Global needs.

Core Values:

  • Allegiance to the Institution
  • Integrity
  • Customer Responsiveness
  • Professionalism
  • Openness to Diversity

This University has a College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity that we cannot wait to help improve on with our donated books and equipment!

Look out for our next post on universities we will visit!

University Post: The University of Zambia

One of the Universities we are looking forward to help out is the University of Zambia, situated in Lusaka.

Est. 1966

Motto: Service and Excellence

Chancellor: Ngwira Lackson

Vice Chancellor: Luke Evuta Mumba

Students: 30 000

Vision: An Eminent University Driven by Pursuit of Knowledge, Innovation and Social Responsiveness.

Mission: To provide relevant, innovative and demand-driven higher education for socio-economic development.

Core values:

  • Academic Freedom
  • Accountability
  • Equity
  • Excellence
  • Green Environment
  • Innovation
  • Integrity

The university has a school of Veterinary Medicine that we aim to enrich with all the veterinary textbooks and equipment we possibly can!

Look out for our next University post, coming up in a week!

University Post: Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources

One of the universities we will be visiting on our trip at the end of this year is Lilongwe University in Malawi.

Est. 2011

Motto: Knowledge, Innovation, Excellence

Chancellor: The president of the Republic of Malawi: Peter Mutharika

Vice Chancellor: Professor Mosses B. Kwapata

Students: Over 8000

Their vision is to “be a world class university.”

Their mission is to advance knowledge and produce relevant graduates with entrepreneurship skills for agricultural growth, food security, wealth creation and sustainable natural resources management, through teaching, training, research, outreach consultancy and sound management.

Under their Faculty of Agriculture, they have the degrees of Animal Sciences and Veterinary Biomedical Science.

We cannot wait to meet some of their students and enrich their library and skills lab on our trip!

Look out for our next University post, coming up in a week!