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AFSCAN Announces 2017 Research And Studentship Awards

Author: WSAVA
Posted: Friday 31st March, 2017. 16:34:00

The African Small Companion Animal Network (AFSCAN), a project supported by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association's (WSAVA) Charitable Foundation, has announced the recipients of the 2017 AFSCAN Research and Studentship Awards.  The Awards, now in their second year, aim to promote small animal clinical research relevant to the African continent and to facilitate the training and development of veterinary students and academics working in Africa. 

AFSCAN Research Awards

AFSCAN Research Awards offer academics working at a veterinary school in Africa the opportunity to secure a grant to fund a locally relevant clinical research project of their devising and to be partnered with a research laboratory overseas.  Two projects have been selected for funding following review of ten applications by the WSAVA Scientific Advisory Committee:

  • Dr Hezron Nonga from the College of Veterinary and Medical Sciences, Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro, Tanzania, has received funding for a two-year project entitled: Safeguarding Public Health through Control of Zoonotic Parasites of Dogs.   This Award is being supported by Zoetis and the Petplan Charitable Trust

  • Dr Olusegun A Fagbohun from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, has received funding for a two-year project entitled: Molecular Epidemiology of Rabies Virus in Dogs in Nigeria.  This Award is being supported by the Swiss Association for Small Animal Medicine (SVK-ASMPA).


AFSCAN Studentship Awards

These Awards enable a fourth or fifth year African undergraduate veterinary student to spend six to eight weeks participating in a research project related to disease or the welfare of companion animals of relevance to African society.  Three Awards have been made this year:

  • Veterinary student Esther Ombura from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, will working on a project entitled: Antimicrobial Resistance in Dogs.

  • Veterinary student Victor Ishengoma from the Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania, will be working on a project entitled Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumour in Tanzania: People’s Awareness and Disease Occurrence in Selected Villages in Morogoro.

  • Veterinary student Lois Sanni from the Federal University of Agriculture, Ogun State, Nigeria, will be working on a project entitled Evaluation of lipid peroxidation and plasma antioxidant in arthritic and non-arthritic dogs.


In her letter of acknowledgment, Lois Sanni said: “I am grateful for the opportunity to be a recipient of an AFSCAN studentship.  This award is an encouragement to me that I can pursue my dream with diligence and focus and know that my financial status will not hinder my dream.”

AFSCAN is advancing standards of veterinary care across Africa through education and through facilitating the creation of a sustainable network of companion animal veterinarians, associations and specialist groups in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Five countries are participating in the first phase - Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda.  Zoetis is AFSCAN's major supporter, but the project is also supported by a range of other organisations which, together, form the AFSCAN Consortium.

AFSCAN launched its Awards with the aim of increasing the knowledge base of diseases and welfare issues affecting companion animals in Africa and building links between African veterinary researchers and laboratories in the USA and Europe.

Commenting, Professor Michael Day, AFSCAN Board member and Vice-President of the WSAVA Foundation, said:  "In the second year of our programme of scientific awards, we were delighted to receive a set of strong applications for the investigation of disease conditions relevant to Africa.  Our research awards provide African veterinary academics with their first real opportunity for substantial research funding and the ability to develop collaborative links with colleagues abroad."

Dr Gabriel Varga, Chairman of the AFSCAN Board and Regional Director, Africa – Sub Sahara region, for Zoetis, added:  "We hope that the AFSCAN Awards will drive advances in veterinary care for all species and, in so doing, improve the health and welfare of both animals and humans.  We were delighted to see such a range of projects submitted for our consideration this year and wish all the recipients good luck with their projects.  I'd like to thank Zoetis, Petplan, the Swiss Association and all of our Consortium members for their generous support."


Notes to editors:



The AFSCAN project has been developed by the WSAVA Foundation with the backing of the global animal health company Zoetis, global veterinary equipment company KRUUSE and a Consortium of other supporters.  Its Project Board is chaired by Dr Gabriel Varga, President of the WSAVA Foundation and Director at Zoetis and includes Professor Michael Day (University of Bristol, UK, and WSAVA Foundation); Dr Theo Kanellos (Zoetis); Dr Remo Lobetti (referral practitioner, South Africa) and Dr Alex Thiermann (OIE). 

Other supporters and sponsors of AFSCAN include the OIE, the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC), veterinary digital content provider Vetstream; veterinary charity Worldwide Veterinary Service and its Mission Rabies Project; healthcare advertising agency Circa Health; the University of Veterinary Medicine in Kosice; BSAVA; SVK-ASMPA; The Petplan Charitable Trust and the WSAVA Foundation.

About Zoetis

Zoetis (zô-EH-tis) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 60 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products and genetic tests and supported by a range of services. Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in more than 100 countries. In 2015, the company generated annual revenue of $4.8 billion with approximately 9,000 employees. For more information, visit

Issued: 31 March 2017

For further information:

Rebecca George, George PR, Tel: 01449 737281/07974 161108

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