The School of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Namibia is using a distributed teaching model for veterinary clinical training, while waiting for the anticipated UNAM Veterinary Academic Hospitals to be finalised. The sixth year of Veterinary training at UNAM consists of a year of clinical rotations, some of which are done in Namibia and some in South Africa. The UNAM School of Veterinary Medicine has a memorandum of understanding with the Faculty of Veterinary Science of the University of Pretoria, where students from the two faculties have the opportunity to participate in an exchange programme. UNAM final year veterinary students attend an intensive 3-month rotation at the Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital (OVAH), while students from Onderstepoort have the opportunity to do clinical rotations at UNAM in either the Mobile Animal Clinic, Wildlife mass-capture and disease sampling or Veterinary Public Health with access to export abattoirs in Namibia.
Currently, seventeen final year UNAM veterinary students are completing their clinical rotation at OVAH, where they are exposed to a variety of cases and patients in the medical, surgical, diagnostic imaging, anaesthesiology and pathology sections of the veterinary hospital. Reports on the ability and quality of our students from Pretoria have been extremely encouraging, with Onderstepoort staff confirming that the UNAM students are on par with their Pretoria counterparts. Especially pleasing, was a letter recently received from the sisters in the OVAH Intensive Care Unit, judging the UNAM students to be “head and shoulders above” the Pretoria students; complimenting the SoVM on the professionalism, courtesy, responsibility and enthusiasm of our students, with heart-warming compassion for their patients.
The SoVM looks forward with enormous pride in graduating this exceptional group of students early next year, who will be the first-ever Namibian trained veterinarians in our country.
Written by: Dr. A. Marais
Edited by: Prof. J. Mupangwa and Mr. S.C. Barrion