The college of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio-security (CoVAB) has offered to train 10 students from Somaliland in veterinary services.
The move is aimed at building capacity of veterinary practitioners to support the dominant animal industry in Somaliland. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is supporting the students.
“Somaliland has had no vets for over 20 years because of the war and yet 80% of the population is supported by livestock,” Dr Ruth Muwazi, the deputy principal of the college, said.
“Therefore, the 10 have been brought to Makerere University to complete their degrees.”
Another 80 students are enrolled for Makerere diplomas at the Sheik Technical Veterinary School (STVS) in Somaliland. The school offers a three-year residential course awarding diplomas in Livestock Product Inspection and Animal Health. It is affiliated to Makerere through CoVAB.
The school began as a project in 2002 with international funding from bodies like European Union and the Danish Government. It was implemented by Terra Nuova, an NGO under the auspices of the African Union InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR). Recently, its ownership was transferred to IGAD.
The IGAD executive secretary, Mahboub Maalim, said the organization is exploring avenues to engage universities as partners in appropriate regional development agendas.
“We are seeking to bring on board a technical team of institutions to train a new generation of veterinary personnel well-suited to address the specific livestock production issues of the arid and semi-arid lands of Somaliland and support the sustainable development of the livestock industry in the region,” he said.
The team will also advise on a programme that will broaden the school’s mandate from animal health studies to a centre of research and information, serving pastoralist communities.
Source-The Observer, Uganda