Ohio State's College of Veterinary Medicine is one of three veterinary colleges that have received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a two-year project to improve veterinary services in developing countries. The project involves creation of a digital platform to house educational resources and teaching tools for use by veterinary faculty around the world. High quality veterinary services are critical to ensure the safety, quality, and availability of animal source foods, yet the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has found gaps in veterinary services in developing countries and has identified quality of veterinary education to be a major contributor to this problem.
Project partners from the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Center for Food Security and Public Health (CFSPH), The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Veterinary Medicine / College of Public Health, and Massey University (New Zealand) School of Veterinary Science and Institute of Education, will work collaboratively to identify and address the issues of quality veterinary teaching and learning. The US-based partners will develop and populate a digital platform with teaching tools and resources. These will align with a number of core competencies that are designated by the OIE as being essential for new veterinary graduates.
The digital platform will be designed in collaboration with the University of Gondar, College of Veterinary Medicine in Ethiopia, and the Royal University of Agriculture, Faculty of Animal Science & Veterinary Medicine in Cambodia. This will ensure that the resources can be easily delivered and used by veterinary educational establishments in developing countries. The long term goal is to enable veterinary faculties around the world to select the most relevant components and modify the materials to meet their specific needs. The educational content will incorporate case-based learning in the classroom and be specifically relevant for veterinarians working with smallholder farmers. A self-guided evaluation tool aligned with OIE recommendations and core curriculum will also be available on the platform, which will allow veterinary schools to assess the proficiency of their veterinary graduates regarding OIE Day-1 Competencies.
The educational resources and teaching tools will initially focus on herd health management and infectious disease epidemiology, emphasizing emerging diseases, disease management, outbreak investigation, biosecurity, veterinary products, nutrition, and animal welfare. These resources will be tested by partner institutions in Ethiopia and Cambodia in 2020.
The CFSPH has developed and delivered online courses and content for veterinarians and veterinary students in the US and internationally for more than 15 years. In addition, OSU and Massey University have worked on successful “twinning” projects with universities in Africa and Asia. They bring considerable experience assessing curricula and working to improve teaching and learning in veterinary education establishments in the developing world.
For more information, please contact Ohio State's lead for this project, Amanda M. Berrian, DVM, MPH, PhD, assistant professor, associate director, Veterinary Public Health Program at 614-292-0796 or Berrian.firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Credit: Abbey Canon, CFSPH