Poultry production is a cornerstone for the improvement of the livelihood of populations in developing regions in the world. Production projects for poultry are starting everywhere because it is the most feasible and sustainable of all meat and protein production systems. However, to make those projects viable, one needs to accompany them with a strong effort of education and training. Why develop projects involving poultry if we cannot keep those birds alive and healthy, with a sufficient level of productivity? And this if true whatever is the size of the production units. With the same labor and money investment, why not try to attain a viable level of productivity?
All aspects of the production chain have to be up to expectations: genetics, nutrition, husbandry, management, economics, national disease diagnostics and control policies, public health, distribution channels, etc. We often observe that the level of productivity in many developing countries is so poor that it will never be viable and capable of feeding an increasing urbanized population.
Five years ago, the World Veterinary Education in Production Animal Health (WVEPAH) started a training program for poultry veterinarians, intending to improve their practical skills and certify them as poultry experts. The graduates in this program can become the key persons to train others in the poultry health and production fields and be competent diagnosticians in disease control programs.
The WVEPAH is fully independent nonprofit organization developing poultry veterinary courses in many countries, in English, French and Spanish. The next course in English will be in Nairobi, Kenya, from September 30th to October 11th, 2019. Each student, before obtaining a University Certificate, has to provide twenty-five documented clinical cases encountered in the field. This is really where we learn the local or regional strengths and weaknesses, allowing us to adjust the course content accordingly and make recommendations to the competent authorities.
Another aspect of the courses is the full support of the OIE (World Organization for Animal Health) and its international implication in the control of reportable diseases, public health issues and veterinary training. More information can be obtained at: www.wvepah.org Robert Gauthier, DVM, diplomate of the American College of Poultry Veterinarians Montreal, Canada, June 4th, 2019