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The Planet is changing; economic development and climate changes are two preponderant factors that are evincing a deep impact on the behavior of both human and animal populations. Vector-borne diseases are currently one of the main concerns for Public Health professionals since these vectors (mainly insects) tend to follow said populations closely in order to guarantee their own survival. Human expansion into new and many times unknown territories is also responsible to an increased exposure to new agents, many of which may be the cause important diseases. In developed countries, many zoonotic diseases that  were formerly considered a part of the past are now classified as emerging and/or reemerging diseases in said countries. The fact that diseases shared between humans and animals are no longer exclusive to countries with traditionally poor health systems forces us to face, question, and revise many of our past assumptions.  Among the most important questions we should ask ourselves are: should we revise the way we deal with zoonotic diseases? Are our health systems ready to deal with diseases that were once classified as “tropical diseases”? Are we forming future professionals that are ready to face these new challenges? How can we bring together all the health-related professionals in order to apply the concept of “One World, One Health”?

One can now see a clear connection between the reemergence of zoonoses and factors such as the new practices in animal production and human migrations,  environmental changes, the alteration in food habits among human populations, and the expansion of international trade. Recognizing these facts leads us, inevitably, to a greater demand for cooperation between several Public Health-related professions. Although this sort of cooperation has been widely encouraged for many years, it is still far from ideal. As a matter of fact, it seems that this gap between professionals starts forming even as students and tends to widen through the years.

It is urgent to stimulate the strengthening of future networks of epidemiological surveillance, and the consequent adoption of early preventive measures. Hence, it is crucial to start changing and harmonizing the teaching curricula since we can only achieve the Millennium Development Goals through a revolution in mentalities.

The SAPUVETNET III Project has as its general objective the contribution to the development of higher education in the field of Veterinary Public Health (VPH) through cooperation between the European Union (EU) and Latin America (LA).  Through this collaboration, this network aims to contribute to the formation of professionals more adequately prepared to evaluate situations, and find proper solutions, for Public Health-related problems within the concept of “One World, One Health”.  In the search for local solutions to global problems, the SAPUVETNET III tries to bring LA and EU closer by proposing common accreditation rules and similar curricula among the participating veterinary schools.  

The SAPUVETNET III bases its ideology on the fact that the concept of health is varied and complex.  In fact, one cannot ignore the fact that humans, animals and the environment always move simultaneously towards evolution. Therefore, and considering the many variables that may affect the outcome of the dichotomy of health versus disease, our search for healthier and happier populations must focus on local solutions for global problems as well as be as inclusive as possible.

Sadly, it seems that today we are farther from reaching the Millennium Development Goals than we were in the year 2000. Still, this fact should serve as extra motivation for those that, like us, believe they can make a difference and mark a turning point in the formation of future professionals that have the skills needed to invert the current situation.  



The SAPUVETNET Project developed the following activities in order to reach each of its specific objectives:

1. Promoting both cooperation and interaction between several networks and institutions within both European Union (EU) and Latin America (LA).

  • Increased the number of participants in order to expand and enrich some of the existing synergies in terms of analytical and teaching methods:
  • The National Council of Veterinary Sciences Deans (CONADEV), from Argentina, joined the SAPUVETNET III Project.
  • The Federal Council of Veterinary Medicine (CFMV), from Brazil, joined the SAPUVET III Project.
    • Several relationships with other projects and networks were established and encouraged:
  • The Inter-American Veterinary Public Health Society (SISPVET), the Veterinary Public Health Network (REDSPVET) and the Coopevet networks joined the SAPUVETNET III.
  • Several SAPUVETNET III partners joined the Iberian-American Society of Epidemiology, a recently created network that is still in development.
  • The working platform Moodle was implemented (http://projectos.moodle.uevora.pt). The participants use this space to exchange and discuss ideas and projects (distributed by 8 different groups), as well as to organize a virtual library on-line.
  • Two electronic conferences were organized and widely publicized. These conferences brought together researchers, students and faculties from all over the world, allowing free and highly productive debates on the proposed themes.

3. Promoting the modernization of the Veterinary Public Health curriculum in Latin American Universities.

  • The discussion on the main themes to include in an ideal Veterinary Public Health curriculum was started.
  • Development and discussion of new teaching methods.
  • Implementation of 8 working groups concerning different themes/areas.

2. Contributing to the creation of a common space of Higher Education in Public Health joining both European and South-American institutions.

  • The second SAPUVETNET III coordination meeting was held in Brasília, Brazil, at the Federal Council of Veterinary Medicine headquarters. This Council is responsible for the supervision of the veterinary-related activities all over Brazil, including the ones within the field of Public Health. The enrollment of this institution in the SAPUVETNET III was extremely important since Brazil alone accounts for more than 140 Veterinary Medicine schools.
  • Presentation of two divulgation posters: one in Thessaloniki, Greece; another in Lisbon, Portugal.
  • Participation in the OIE meeting in Paris, France: “Evolving Veterinary Medical Education for a Safer World”.
  • Acquisition of bibliography developed by the OIE on themes related to the SAPUVETNET III goals.
  • Participation in two round tables at the 1st International Public Health Congress in Bonito, Brazil, utilizing the opportunity to promote the Project among numerous peers.

4.  Supporting several Latin-American Higher Education Institutions regarding the implementation of a degree-recognition system applied to Veterinary Public Health.

  • During the meeting in Bogotá it was discussed the elaboration of a supporting manual and outlined a minimum Veterinary Public Health curriculum (including number of hours and credits).

5. Encouraging the cooperation between several Public Heath-related professionals, mainly veterinarians and physicians, towards the resolution of common problems (e.g. Zoonotic diseases and others encompassed within the “One World, One Health” mote).

  • Two electronic conferences were organized:
  • “Preparing the World Rabies Day 2009”: 1 to 7 June, 2009.

Available at: http://projectos.moodle.uevora.pt/course/view.php?id=82

  • “A New (Veterinary) Public Health: strategies and interactions between Animal Health and Human Medicine”: 7 to 11 December, 2009 (this conference was initially planned to start on September 25th but it had to be delayed due to coordination issues).

Available at: http://agora.tidia-ae.usp.br/portal/site/99cc5831-82aa-4521-9e4e-4c42e7a11609

  • Some activities involving the students were organized. These activities had as their main goal the promotion of Public Health among the Veterinary Medicine students, as well as their contact with the local communities. 
  • Several talks on current Public Health-related issues (such as rabies and influenza) were organized at the University of La Salle, Colombia, the Cayetano Heredia University, Peru, and the University of Évora, Portugal.
  • Inviting peer Public Health-teaching institutions (veterinary and human), stimulating their cooperation towards common approaches to common problems.
  • Several institutions from both European Union and Latin America.

6.  Promoting the SAPUVETNET III Project and its ideology through the dissemination of documents and other materials produced by the partners utilizing the Internet.

  • The Project’s Logo was created, discussed and approved.
  • The SAPUVETNET III webpage was started. This will be a space where all the work produced by the different working groups will be made available, for free, to everyone interested. This page is available at: www.sapuvetnet.org.
  • Two electronic conferences were organized – refer to poin
  • Participation in the 1st International Public Health Congress in Bonito, Brazil.
  • The SAPUVETNET III Project joined the list of supporters of the One Health Initiative Project. This is available at: www.onehealthinitiative.com. The University of Torino prepared three DVDs on slaughterhouse practices (available in English, Spanish and Portuguese).


During this period the work of the project continued in compliance with the planned objectives, contributing towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, by strengthening the concept of ONE HEALTH and essentially creating stronger ties between the universities in South America and Europe, with regard to the deepening objectives and methodologies for better Veterinary Public Health teaching.

In general, the main activities developed during this year were:

  • An agreement was reached between all members of the project, about the minimum required curriculum in Veterinary Public Health (VPH) education for veterinarians. The proposal was presented to the Latin American universities’ delegates at PANVET conference in Lima, Perú. It represented the first step in an attempt to standardize the level of knowledge in VPH and therefore the first step towards a possible future accreditation between Latin America and Europe.

  • The third electronic conference “Prudent use of antimicrobials in animals: solution or utopia?" was held for the general public on September 25-28th 2010. The initiative had 86 participants from 14 different countries.

  • Publication of the Sapuvet Journal of Public Health called “One Health” and assignment of an ISBN. This task, which was the responsibility of the technical coordinator of Latin America, was very successful and it was possible to publish two issues in 2010 and two issues in 2011.

  • The physical meetings in Mexicalli, Mexico and Lima, Peru, that contributed towards the first steps for the creation of the VPH Manual linked to the new methodologies adopted for “case studies”. The meetings provided for a dynamic exchange among different participants with regard to their approach to public health. The sharing of different experiences, expertise and understandings, due to the different social and economic contexts in each country and university, played an important role in enriching the participants’ knowledge, essential for their work as professors, researchers and developers.

  • Production of instructional DVDs in the area of animal slaughter for consumption, made by the University of Turin. These DVDs were sent to different universities outside the project in Europe, Latin America and Africa. An assessment will be made in order to establish the lessons-learned for future use. These DVDs were translated into the three official languages of the project: Portuguese, Spanish and English.

  • Organization of public health groups composed of and animated by students. This is one of the measures that will have more impact in the future, at the community level, and will also provide for future sustainability of the objectives of the project with regard to the millennium goals. This has been already achieved by some universities, such as Caytano Heredia University in Peru, University of Santa Catarina in Brazil and La Salle University in Colombia.

  • As a complement to the activities mentioned above, and with the aim of giving visibility to the project, several conferences were organized in 2010.

The main results achieved through the mentioned activities were:

  • Improved cooperation and interregional relations among networks and institutions within and between the two regions (LA, Europe).

  • Bilateral agreements and bilateral exchanges: Contacts were made with other universities in order to initiate joint research projects. As an example, a protocol was established with the Hospital of Évora, Portugal, in order to initiate a joint research project on zoonoses. This is a practical action that demonstrates the relevant bilateral agreements that were established and which will make it possible for all the project’s participants to continue working towards the aims of the project in the future. Also, as a result of the contact with UNAM (Mexico Autonomous University) a bilateral agreement was initiated with a professor at UNAM to visit the University of Évora and stay in Portugal, participating actively in the implementation of the project´s objectives at the University of Évora, especially in adaptation of the curriculum agreed upon in Mexicalli. The work developed will test the proposed methodology and shall certainly influence the future application in universities in Latin America.

  • Contribution of each member to the manual on VPH, developing case studies shared through moodle plataform with all the other members of each work group.

  • Submission of papers for publication in the journal of SAPUVETNET, written by several members of the project.

  • Completion of the Spanish version of the didactic video on “Cattle slaughtering” and the Spanish and Italian versions of the interactive self-learning CD-ROM (Neobook) on “Good practices in cattle slaughter and inspection of the carcasses”, by the University of Turin. Distribution of copies of the DVD on “Poultry Slaughter” and “Rabbit Slaughter” to all project partners and collaborating institutions.

  • Creation, improvement and validation of a web-based working platform. The Moodle teaching platform http://projectos.moodle.uevora.pt/course/view.php?id=77is fully functional and is being used by the project work groups, members and collaborators. Further development and strengthening of work groups: WG7 was integrated and strengthened by incorporating new partners/collaborators, e.g. a colleague from the University of Baja California, Mexicali, Mexico and a collaborator from University of Zaragoza, Spain.

  • - Among all universities, and thanks to Dr. Katinka DeBalogh’s initiative, an attitude and perception study focused on the concept of One Health it is being designed.

Throughout this year the team work was strengthened, bilateral exchanges and joint researches were initiated, the VPH manual began to take shape, didactic materials for common use were produced, the members participated in several conferences helping disseminate the Sapuvetnet III project and there was growing motivation to continue working to accomplish the project’s objectives.


Download here the last year summary.

During this period the work of the project continued in compliance with the planned objectives, contributing towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, through strengthening the concept of One Health and essentially creating durable ties between the universities in South America and Europe, with regard to consolidating deepening the objectives and methodologies for better Veterinary Public Health teaching.

In general, the main activities developed during this year were:

  • Production of new products, such as a song and a video, destined to support rabies campaigns in regions where rabies is a public health problem, such as Latin America. These are being translated into all official languages of the project.

  • Beginning production of other unconventional teaching materials, aimed at young audiences, to support rabies campaigns

  • Edition of our journal of public health with two issues published in 2011; JOURNAL III (Jan - Jun 2011) and JOURNAL IV (Jul - Dec 2011).

  • Establishment of student working groups and a student mailing list in Veterinary Public Health, with new groups created, in Portugal, Argentina and Chile. These groups makes it possible for the students to have contact with the public health problems experienced by communities, learn methods of inquiry and intervention, apply concepts of risk analysis, and increase awareness with regard to public health.

  • Two face-to-face meetings, held in Valdivia – Chile and Rome – Italy, which contributed towards analysing the VPH Manual and planning the development of new didactic materials.

  • Progress with regard to the proposal for establishing the required competencies in the curriculum for Veterinary Public Health (VPH) education.

  • Organization and participation in several conferences as a complement to the activities mentioned above, and with the aim of giving visibility to the project. Some partners such as Turin, Évora, Mexico, Uruguay and Spain participated in conferences/congresses/meetings (in addition to the project coordination meetings) and promoted/disseminated the SAPUETNET activities and products.

  • Further development and improvement of the web page.

  • Analysis and development of a new area, “Animal Assisted Therapies”, in which Évora University (Portugal), through SAPUVETNET III Project, continues working towards developing skills in training animals to work with people.

The main results achieved through the mentioned activities were:

  • Better cooperation and improved relations among networks and institutions within and between the two regions (LA, Europe).

  • Bilateral agreements and exchanges: as a result of contact with UNAM (Mexico Autonomous University) a professor at UNAM has come to visit and stay in Portugal, participating actively in the implementation of the project´s objectives at the University of Évora, especially with regard to adapting the curriculum agreed upon in Mexicalli; which has been very successful.

  • Enhancement of south-south collaboration which was strengthened through participation of the partners from Peru, Chile and Uruguay in a training activity about preparedness in Natural Disasters, organized in Cuba, our partner with the greatest experience in this area.

  • Increased north-south collaboration through the work of the partner from Great Britain who spent a period of time in Uruguay for exchange of ideas and knowledge and establishment of research projects and programs for control of zoonotic diseases.

  • Submission of papers for publication in the SAPUVETNET journal, written by several members of the project.

Throughout this year team work has been strengthened, bilateral exchanges and joint researches have been initiated, the VPH manual has been almost finished, educational materials for common use as well as innovative didactic materials for young people have been produced and the members participated in several conferences helping disseminate the Sapuvetnet III project. Altogether there has been a growing desire to continue working to accomplish the project’s objectives. The most important and significant result is that the group is motivated to continue working together after the project ends and is studying different possibilities with regard to the project’s sustainability, one of them being the establishment of a non-profit international association.




Webdesign: Patricia Baltasar e Cristina Brázio |2010|