Currently our veterinary teams are focusing on small animal medicine. Because the growing economy gives financial means for families to keep pets, small animal clinics are needed as well as continuing education for the clinicians. These factors have motivated us to concentrate on small animal medicine.
REI Vietnam and the Hanoi National Institute of Veterinary Research (NIVR) have cooperated in the construction of a small animal clinic. This clinic is one site where, on an annual basis, we provide classroom lectures and conduct training surgeries in the clinic. Area small animal clinic doctors attend these sessions. Some of our training includes how to run a clinic that is self- sustaining. For example, REI-VN veterinarians encourage clinic staff to follow a fee schedule to help finance locally available drugs and to replace worn out tools and spent oxygen.
The Clinic staff often asks for specific areas to be taught and demonstrated. This field-generated practice has been helpful in utilizing team hours on site. Our vision is to see the clinic become a self-sustaining practice that makes affordable care for pets available to the surrounding community.
Ag/Vet teams also work at the Hue University of Agriculture and Forestry (HUAF). Our audience consists of more than 30 young instructors of veterinary medicine. HUFS has a large animal curriculum; however, there is no small animal component for instruction purposes. Writing a small animal component was not possible due to the complexity of the educational system. It was decided that we concentrate on enhancing and enriching the existing curriculum in such a way as to help faculty learn to deliver small animal treatment and to teach it in their classrooms. These points of enhancing and enriching have challenged the instructors to pursue further knowledge on the internet and in the literature we are able to contribute. Being on site on an annual basis helps to build continuity in what is being taught by our teams. We anticipate this will significantly augment faculty instruction over the next three years.
The Ag/Vet Sector has also made contributions to agriculture, however, further access is needed to move within and relate to funding institutions such as the USDA and USAID and major American universities. We have had success organizing a Train-the-Trainer conference and Grant Writing conferences for the National Institute of Plant Protection, the Food Crop Research Institute, and the Hanoi Agricultural University. We are looking for further opportunities to work with the leadership of these Vietnamese institutions. Vietnamese leadership can benefit from cultivating friendships with international organizations, companies and educational institutions to address issues of biosafety, the impact of GMO practices, integrated crop management and the food safety of exports.