The veterinary profession in Bangladesh is experiencing a transition in its magnitude, multiplicity, and public needs. The quantity of veterinary schools has amplified from one to thirteen in the previous two decades. The graduation of new veterinarians per year has rocketed from fifty, twenty years ago, to nearly one thousand. At the field level, the farming pattern and practices also transformed dramatically: Backyard poultry farming for subsistence has turned into a poultry industry, cattle raising for plowing land has been substituted by agricultural mechanization and strong commercial dairy farming is being emerged. With increased urbanization, the number of companion animals in cities and towns has been increasing at an unprecedented rate. Intensification of livestock production systems, however, has been contributing to the emergence of new pathogens and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) – a huge public health concern. These transformations have put immense pressure on the veterinary profession to fulfill the societal needs for ensuring competent professional services. While professional competency earned through graduation from the university was once thought to be adequate to oblige society, increasing public demand for improved and competent professional services expresses the need for continuing education for the professional. In this crossroads of the veterinary career, upholding the status quo is certainly not the way forward. Change in all frontages of the profession is predictable if it is to survive with its all nobilities.
To embrace the challenges in the changing community, academic institutions, veterinary services, and regulatory bodies need to work together for the profession. The Department of Livestock Services and FAO Bangladesh are jointly implementing a project “Improvement of public health through mitigating risks of avian influenza and mitigating antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Bangladesh”.
One of the expected outputs of this project is “the competencies of the veterinary workforce improved for provision of technically sound advice and services”. For achieving this output technical support is provided to all veterinary schools, the Department of Livestock Services, and the Bangladesh Veterinary Council to improve veterinary curricula, teaching, and learning practices, and also established a continuing education program for the practicing veterinarians and introduced an appropriate national veterinary accreditation system. Furthermore, technical support has been offered to the established Bangladesh College of Veterinary Surgeons (BCVS). Organizing a national conference of continuing education (CE) for practicing veterinarians is a part of this initiative.
Department of Livestock Services, National Veterinary Dean Council, Bangladesh Veterinary Council, Bangladesh Veterinary Association, and Bangladesh College of Veterinary Surgeons with technical support from FAOBD ECTAD jointly formed a forum that will organize the CE conference for veterinarians (CEVET) in Bangladesh. Following the four successful CE events from 2017-2020, the forum is going to organize the 5th CEVET conference from 18 to 20 November 2022.