November 2019

Dear Colleagues

Warm greetings to you all in our Southern Africa region and even beyond.

On behalf of the Southern African Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventative Medicine (SASVEPM) executive committee (EXCO), I would like to express my profound gratitude to you all for attending the 17th Annual SASVEPM Congress held at the Coastlands Hotel in Umhlanga Kwazulu-Natal, from 21-23 August 2019. Thank you very much!

The congress was yet another success that we should all be proud of. We witnessed a variety of good quality and informative presentations embracing the congress theme “Field epidemiology in action”. The executive committee of SASVEPM is overwhelmed by the presenters who took their time to come and present their research work to us all.

The basic epidemiology training pre-congress workshop held on 19-20 August was well attended. It was a huge accomplishment and we would like to thank all participants and facilitators of the workshop.

Thank you for electing four new members into the SASVEPM EXCO during our Annual General Meeting (AGM) on the evening of the 22nd of August 2019. These members have unique, profound leadership qualities and with the dedication that they have shown from the beginning, our society SASVEPM, shall reach greater heights. I am very thrilled to introduce the new EXCO portfolios to you all. As you are all aware, the executive committee is made up of six members as enshrined in our society’s constitution. Our vice president is Dr Noluvuyo Magadla (Director of Animal Health with Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development). Our Honorary secretary is Dr M Sirdar (Senior Veterinary Research at Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute, Agricultural Research Council). Our Honorary treasurer is Dr S Mbizeni (Senior lecturer in the University of South Africa (UNISA) in the Department of Agriculture and Animal Health). Dr W Shumba (Deputy Director: Veterinary Epidemiology and Laboratory Services, Northern Cape Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development) and Dr J Mokoele manages our media and marketing portfolio. Dr Shumba (together with me and Dr Sirdar) is instrumental in revamping and renewing our Southern Africa foot print through engagements with other epidemiology aligned groups and institutions within the Southern Africa region.

I am confident that with this team we shall achieve greater feats and with your support, we shall do more. We as the current EXCO are indebted to the previous EXCO which worked tirelessly to push the agenda of this great society forward as I mentioned in my message to you all at our AGM in August.

The new EXCO held their first meeting on the 13th of September, barely two weeks since endorsement into office and I am convinced that with such assertive commitment to serve, the objectives and vision of our society SASVEPM shall continue to be realised.

Arrangements for the 2020 congress are already underway and we look forward to yet another great congress together. Together we can do more, together we can achieve great feats!

Thank you!

Dr Nelson Matekwe (SASVEPM President)