4 January 2018

Vets around the world are learning from each other

At the end of 2017 Brooke held its first Global Animal Health Exchange.

Vets from our country programmes around the world travelled to Senegal, Ethiopia and India to share experiences and knowledge and identify common themes in their work.

As Brooke has discovered, animal welfare issues, health systems and interventions can vary massively from country to country. Senior vets in country programmes often know and understand their own context very well, but have not had much opportunity to become familiar with countries outside of their region.

The Exchange tackles this problem head on. For example, during the visit to India, Alemayehu Hailemariam, our senior vet from Ethiopia noticed that Brooke India have a fantastic way to promote the work of Brooke-trained farriers through use of a traffic light grading system.

Farriers are assessed by a Brooke master farrier, and graded with a red, orange or green certificates. The system encourages farriers to improve their skills so they can present the master farrier approval in their working areas, and helps animal owners choose more skilled farriers. This simple system could easily be adopted in Ethiopia.

Brooke teams can also now share and learn online through a private Facebook group – Brooke Vets. Using social media makes sharing of knowledge, ideas and experiences internationally much more accessible. The network now has over 235 members from across the country programmes.

The Global Animal Health Exchange has been one of the first steps towards strengthening Brooke’s global network of Brooke animal health advisors. They are taking the lead to develop policies, and design and implement training programmes. The visit has also increased their confidence to advise on and critically evaluate the work of international colleagues.