1st Conference of Continuing Education for the Veterinarians of Bangladesh
The veterinary profession in Bangladesh is passing through a phase of dramatic change in its size, diversity and societal needs. Over the last two decades, number of veterinary schools has increased from one to ten, the number of new graduates produced per year has increased from 50 twenty years ago to nearly 500 now, subsistence backyard poultry sector has rapidly growth into an intensive poultry production industry, cattle raising for plowing land has been replaced by agricultural mechanization and a strong commercial dairy farming is emerging. With increased urbanization, the number of companion animals in cities and towns has also been increasing at an unprecedented rate. Above all, intensification of livestock production systems has been contributing to the emergence of new pathogens and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) that are of major public health concern. All those changes have put immense pressure on veterinary professionals to fulfill the societal needs for providing competent professional services. While professional competency earned through graduation from the university was once thought to be enough for a veterinary graduate to serve the society, it is no more acceptable to clients and society as a whole, and the demand for improved and competent professional veterinary services is now very high and continuing to grow. At this crossroads of veterinary profession, maintaining status-quo is certainly not the way forward. Change in all fronts of the profession is inevitable if it is to meet the needs of this century.
In order to bring changes, academic institutions, veterinary services and the regulatory bodies need to work together to face the challenges of the profession. Improvement of food security and public health through strengthening veterinary services and controlling emerging infectious diseases throughout Bangladesh, a project jointly being implemented by the Department of Livestock Services and FAO ECTAD is contributing to improvement of professional veterinary competency. Competencies of veterinary workforce improved for provision of technically sound advice and services is one of the outputs of this project under which provision has been made for providing technical supports to all veterinary schools, the Department of Livestock Services, and the Bangladesh Veterinary Council to improve veterinary curricula, teaching and learning practices, establish a continual education programme for the practicing veterinarians, and introducing appropriate national veterinary accreditation system. While activities are being undertaken to improve veterinary undergraduate education and introduce a national veterinary accreditation system, initiative has been also taken to organize a national conference of continuing education (CE) for the practicing veterinarians, the first of its kind in Bangladesh.
CE is a process by which a veterinarian keeps up-to-date with advances in his/her professional field as well as maintaining and increasing competence. It is equally applicable to specialists as to the practitioner or the person in any other branch of the profession. It is recognized that much of the knowledge is gained through experience, however participation in CE implies going further than relying solely on experience and means active attendance at meetings, courses or the use of the increasing number of self-motivational programmes using information technology. Globally, there has been a general upsurge of CE in many professions including veterinary profession. A mandatory approach to CE for veterinary profession has also been adopted in many countries, but it is not yet mandatory in Bangladesh. However, the National Veterinary Dean Council, the Bangladesh Veterinary Council, and the Department of Livestock Services with technical support from FAO ECTAD, have jointly formed a tripartite forum to convene the first CE conference for veterinarians in Bangladesh.
The following five themes have been identified for the 1st National Veterinary CE Conference of Bangladesh:
- Principles of disease control and prevention
- Poultry health and management
- Herd and reproductive health management
- Companion animal health care
- Wildlife health
The objectives of the 1st National Veterinary CE Conference of Bangladesh are as follows:
- To maintain and advance professional performance
- To encourage the advancement of knowledge
- To improve the knowledge base (propositional knowledge), the competency/skills base, and cognitive and learning skills (process knowledge)
- To reassure the public that concrete actions are being taken to improve professional veterinary competency
At least 500 veterinarians from various sectors are expected to participate in the conference. Sectors include the following:
- Public sector (government) veterinary services
- Poultry & dairy industry, pharmaceutical industries
- Mixed and specialized private practice
- Academia and research
The expected outputs are as follows:
- Professional performance, knowledge, competences and skills of the participants advanced in the thematic areas covered
- Participants adequately motivated about the benefit of CE
- A roadmap of future CE programe developed
Location: Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh
Date: 14-15 October 2017
Cost sharing structure: Participants will pay a BDT 1000 fee to register for the conference and cover costs of their travel to and from Cox’s Bazar. FAO will cover the accommodation and meal costs for the first 500 participants who pay the conference registration fee.