“SAPUVETNET II: new approaches to Veterinary Public Health (the way forward)”
EU_ALFA Project n. II-0438-A (contract n. AML/B7-311/97/0666/II_0438-A9)
The Network: the objective of this project is to further consolidate and strengthen the established SAPUVET network (SAPUVETNET I) in the field of Veterinary Public Health/Animal Production (VPH/AP), and to include more participants/partners (one new European partner: Portugal; one new Latin-American partner: Bolivia). During the first SAPUVET project, participant institutions presented and discussed respective veterinary curricula in the field of VPH/AP. This has led to the exchange of experiences and approaches, laying the basis for curriculum harmonisation. This on-going process certainly can only take place by introducing possible adaptations through regular curriculum revisions: this was one of the objectives of SAPUVET project, and it will be brought forward during SAPUVETNET II. During the envisaged co-ordination meetings, partners will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face again, and to know the new partners of the Network. Nevertheless, most of the communication within the Network will continue through the established SAPUVETNET List-server. So far, this mean of communication has proved to be very efficient to assure timely contacts amongst project partners. The new products of the project will be further published on the SAPUVETNET II website.
During the previous SAPUVET project, the different partner institutions presented their respective curricula in the field of VHP/AP. The partners jointly identified specific needs and areas that would need to be addressed or further expanded. In particular, during the initial project, new teaching methods and the role of veterinarians in disasters/emergency situations were addressed through the development of a teaching module specifically designed. Further areas which were identified refer to upcoming VHP/AP issues, such as food safety in international trade of animals & animal products, environmental health, animal welfare, etc. These important issues are envisaged to be addressed through the development of further teaching modules during SAPUVETNET II project. SAPUVET made it possible to establish a strong partnership between 5 Latin-American and 3 European Veterinary faculties: this process can be considered most valuable as the activities developed by the project have enabled the partners to learn from each others’ experiences, especially during the meetings and bi-lateral visits. The partners have also been able to put part of these experiences into practice through the development of joint activities, in particular the development of the SAPUVET teaching module. The basis and momentum created by SAPUVET is being consolidated in SAPUVETNET II, enabling the creation of a stronger network with a view to integrate other institutions/countries interested in this field. The Network has activated preliminary contacts with COPEVET (Consejo Panamericano de Educación en las Ciencias Veterinarias), which will be strengthened, as well as with other local network (i.e. RedSpv in Colombia).
Teaching methodologies: during SAPUVET, besides building the basis for curriculum development/harmonisation, an important step forward has been achieved by introducing new teaching methodologies. During SAPUVETNET II this field will be further expanded, not only through the use of the problem-solving and modular teaching approach, but also through the opportunities which Internet can provide for long distance education, and for international interaction between students and lecturers (e.g. list server, WebCt, e-mail or video conferences, etc.). The experiences obtained from the project will be documented and published, and are expected to serve as valuable tools for other institutions within Latin America, and Europe as well.
The project envisages the organisation of an international e-Conference on VHP/AP. This event is expected to give a wide dissemination of the activities and experiences obtained by the project. A wide spectrum of institutions and professionals involved in the field of VPH/AP (e.g. international/regional institutions, non-profit organisations, research/education institutes, etc.) will be invited to participate in this activity. In this way, it is expected not only to disseminate the results of both SAPUVET and SAPUVETNET II projects, but also to create a platform and a think-tank where the expanding field of Veterinary Public health can be discussed, and new approaches and teaching methodologies can be shared and jointly developed.