In collaboration with the Agricultural Research Council, Onderstepoort Veterinary Research Institute (ARC-OVR), the Southern African Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine (SASVEPM) held a national training workshop on Laboratory Biosecurity and Biosafety on 17–19 November 2021. The workshop was hosted at the Transboundary Animal Disease (TAD) laboratory of the ARC-OVR. It was made possible by the generous sponsorship from the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (USDA-APHIS) and the Biological Threat Reduction Programme (BTRP).
Twenty-two participants from provincial veterinary services departments, academia and the ARC-OVR attended. This was a combination of veterinarians, animal health technicians, veterinary technologists, and researchers. On the first day, most of the theory was covered. The trainers from ARC-OVR organised knowledgeable speakers with extensive experience on the topics. The group received talks on: an overview of the TAD facility, Biosafety levels, Risk assessment, Sample packaging & Transport, and the Pathogen Asset Control System. They had the opportunity to openly discuss, interact and share experiences from their own laboratories or field work. Day 2 and 3 were spent inside the TAD laboratory where participants experienced first-hand the procedures to enter and exit a high containment facility. Demonstrations of donning/doffing personal protective equipment, safe working in a biological safety cabinet, and management of spills in the laboratory were given. They also had the opportunity to tour the TAD facility, which included a visit to the Animal Facility, the Production Facility, Incinerator and Effluent Plant.
SASVEPM was pleased that the 3-day workshop was accredited by the South African Veterinary Council (AC/0810/21) with 10 CPD points. We are very grateful to the sponsors, trainers, and facilitators for making the training such a worthwhile experience for the participants. This concludes another successful exercise in capacity building for veterinary services in South Africa. Some photos of the activities are included.
Demonstration of the personal protective equipment worn by laboratory
staff when working with Foot and Mouth Disease Virus in the stables
Demonstration of the standard procedures for safe working in a Biological Safety Cabinet
Participants took turns to practice the techniques learned
for working safely in a Biological Safety Cabinet
Participants took turns to practice the techniques learned for working safely in a Biological Safety Cabinet
Visit to the Production Facility and discussions about the Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine production plans
Participants waiting to enter the Animal (stable) Facility
Participants entered the Animal (stable) Facility
Visit to the Incinerator (in the basement)
18th Annual SASVEPM Congress 2021
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Southern African Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine (SASVEPM) had to postpone the 18th annual congress from 2020 to 2021. We had to adapt quickly and held a series of online training sessions during 2020 instead of having the usual pre-congress workshop. These were a great success and are listed here:
- African Swine Fever Disease Prevention and Control (19 August 2020)
- Foot and Mouth disease webinar (23 September 2020)
- Animal Health and Economics (21 October 2020)
SASVEPM is very proud to have hosted the congress in 2021 as our first ever hybrid event. It took place on 25–27 August in Bela-Bela, at Warmbaths a Forever Resort. We welcomed 45 participants who attended in-person and 333 participants who attended online, making it our most attended congress yet with a total of 378 participants! We were delighted to see representatives from other African countries including Botswana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
The congress started with a heart-felt moment to remember Professor Gavin Thomson. He was a true advocate for veterinary epidemiology and evidence-based decision making in South Africa, and he will be dearly missed. The keynote speakers were excellent. Professor Fasina described exciting and thought-provoking possibilities of creative and innovative technologies to use in the field; Dr Letshwenyo gave a detailed overview of the activities by the World Organisation for animal Health (OIE) in Southern Africa; Prof Penrith got us all thinking about the complexities of African swine fever outbreaks in southern Africa and the possible solutions in the form of biosecurity practices; and Professor Karimuribo spoke about community-focused surveillance for emerging and transboundary animal and human infectious diseases. The proceedings can be found here.
- The Willie Ungerer Epidemiology Award went to Dr Michael Botlhe Modisane, Chief Veterinary Officer, for his lifetime achievements to advance epidemiology in the veterinary field both locally in South Africa and internationally.
- Dr Lucas R. Mampane received the Lifetime Achievement Award to honour his contribution to veterinary science and disease control in South Africa.
- The Prof Gavin Thomson Award for the best presentation was given to Dr Liesl De Boni for her talk entitled ‘African swine fever among pig keepers in Gauteng Province, 2019-2021’
- The Animal Health Technician Award was a tie. Mr Gideon Kriel and Mr Sifiso Mnisi shared the honour. Mr Kriel shared valuable insights on ‘GMP traceability, the hidden gem for veterinary disease control – Northern Cape experience’, and Mr Mnisi spoke about ‘Genetic diversity of Ehrlichia ruminantium in ticks collected from domestic ruminants in Ngaka Modiri Molema district, South Africa and its effect on diseases control’. This award was kindly sponsored by Onderstepoort Biological Products (OBP).
- The Post-graduate Student Award was given to Ms Keneiloe Montsu for her virtual oral presentation called ‘Assessment of risk factors for African swine fever in Gauteng province’.
- The Best Poster was awarded to Ms Dikeledi Sebola who delivered a brilliant 5-minute oral poster called ‘Hand hygiene compliance in the intensive care unit of the Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital’.
SASVEPM congratulates the recipients of these well-deserved acknowledgements.
Annual General Meeting highlights
The SASVEPM constitution and sponsorship policy were revised and updated during the AGM on 26 August. The 2021–2023 Executive Committee were elected during the AGM. Five of the members were re-elected. Congratulations to Dr Liesl De Boni who was elected to join the SASVEPM Executive Committee as the sixth member and Dr Nolovuyo Magadla who became the society’s President. For further details, please see the ExCo’s page
SASVEPM extends a huge thanks to all the participants (online and in-person) who made it such a lively and worthwhile event. We are very grateful to our partners who also sponsored the event: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA–APHIS) and US Defence Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA–BTRP). Other worthy sponsors and exhibitors included IDEXX laboratories and Onderstepoort Biological Products. Finally, we thank SAVETCON, who did a wonderful job organising, managing, and delivering the congress this year.
The Southern African Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine (SASVEPM) held a national training workshop on data management in the veterinary field on 11–13 October 2021. The training was given in collaboration with the Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, ARC-OVR, and was sponsored by our partners the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (USDA-APHIS) and the Biological Threat Reduction Programme (BTRP).
The workshop was a great success, with 31 attendees. The participants comprised of provincial veterinary services, national veterinary services, and academia personnel. They had diverse backgrounds including veterinarians, animal health technicians, veterinary technologists and researchers. The course was given by Dr John Grewar of jDATA. It briefly covered the uses & pitfalls of Microsoft Excel for data management; much time was spent on database basics, querying data and reporting using Microsoft Access; and there was a demonstration of how to integrate Microsoft Access data with other analytics programs, e.g. R and geographic information systems. The 3-day course was CPD accredited (AC/0760/21) with 17 well-deserved points.
SASVEPM thanks the sponsors, trainer, facilitators and participants for making this workshop so valuable. We look forward to organising similar training opportunities in the future to contribute to capacity building for veterinary services in South Africa.
To watch this online workshop, please follow the following link:
The Southern African Society for Veterinary Epidemiology & Preventive Medicine hosted its 17th Annual SASVEPM Congress at the Coastlands Hotel in Umhlanga Kwazulu-Natal during 21-23 August 2019. We achieved record attendance this year with just over 300 delegates attending!
As part of our 2019 programme we also be hosted a pre-congress training workshop in partnership with the South African Field Epidemiology Training Programme (SAFETP) and the University of Pretoria during 19-20 August 2019. The course was designed to provide veterinarians and para-veterinarians with basic epidemiological skills and an inter-disciplinary approach to deal with complex animal health and public health issues.
Thank you to our key note speaker, Dr Sascha al Dahouk (a global expert on human brucellosis and an epidemiologist), as well as all our presenting authors, for contributing to the success of the 2019 congress.
Congratulations to the winners of the Willie Ungerer Memorial Prize for Epidemiology which was awarded to: Prof Geoff Fosgate (2018 winner) from the Faculty of Veterinary Science of Onderstepoort and Prof Cheryl McCrindle (2019 winner) from the School of Health Systems and Public Health of the University of Pretoria.
Well done to this year’s winner of the Animal Health Technician Prize for outstanding work which was awarded to Odirele T.L. Ramafoko for his work on Bovine Genital Campylobacteriosis and Trichomoniasis of Cattle in Mafikeng, North West Province.
At the congress, four new members were elected to the executive committee and we welcome Dr Mohamed Sirdar, Dr Noluvuyo Magadla, Dr Sikhumbuzo Mbizeni and Dr Wonderful Shumba to the committee. Please look at the committee’s page for a look at who is involved on the executive.
SASVEPM joined the Ruminant Veterinary Association of South Africa to have our annual congress at Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre in Boksburg, South Africa from 18-20 June 2018.
Thank you to our key note speakers, Prof Cheryl McCrindle and Prof Egbert Mundt, as well as all our presenting authors, for contributing to the success of the 2018 congress.
At the congress, two new members were elected to the executive committee and we welcome Dr Alicia Cloete and Dr Japhta Mokoele to the committee. Please look at the committee’s page for a look at who is involved on the executive.
Well done to this year’s winner of the Animal Health Technician Prize for outstanding work which was awarded to Deon Kriel for his role in dealing with outbreaks in the Northern Cape Province.
The proceedings can be downloaded from HERE
SASVEPM joined the the South African Veterinary Association as well as several paraveterinary organisations to have our annual congress as part of the 9th Veterinary and Paraveterinary Congress at Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre in Boksburg, South Africa from 25-27 July 2017.
Click HERE to download the proceedings.
Thanks to our CE speakers, Dr Mpho Maja, Dr Joule Kangumba, Dr Laura Lopez and Dr Didi Janse van Rensburg as well as all our presenting authors, the 2017 congress in Gauteng was a great success.
At the congress, a new member was elected to the executive committee and we welcome Dr Vashnee Govender to the committee.
Well done to this year’s winner of the Willie Ungerer Memorial Prize for Epidemiology which was awarded to Dr Peter Geertsma from the Gauteng Veterinary Services.
Download the 2016 Proceedings here
Thanks to our CE speaker, Prof Jonathan Rushton, as well as all our presenting authors, the 2016 congress in Cape Town was a great success. Please download the proceedings by clicking on the link above.
Download Prof Rushton’s presentations here:
At the congress, new members were elected to the executive committee and we welcome Dr Didi Janse van Rensburg and Dr Nelson Matekwe to the committee.
Well done to this year’s winner of the Willie Ungerer Memorial Prize for Epidemiology which was awarded to Dr Johann Kotze from the Mpumalanga Veterinary Services. In the image below Dr Kotze (Rt) receives the memorial shield from the President of the Society, Dr van Helden (Lft)