Unam vet school undergoes accreditation audit

Home National Unam vet school undergoes accreditation audit

WINDHOEK – The Veterinary Council of Namibia is expected to conduct an audit towards the end of this year to determine whether the University of Namibia’s School of Veterinary has complied with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) requirements as well as Namibian health legislation.

In an interview with New Era yesterday, Dr Anna Marais, the Associate Dean at the School of Veterinary Medicine at Neudam, said the Veterinary Council of Namibia is expected to visit the school in November, as part of an ongoing accreditation process. 

This will be the programme’s final accreditation visit and if all requirements are met, it means it will be accredited by the council.

This year is also historic for Unam, as a group of 17 students will be the first cohort of locally trained veterinary medicine graduates, come next year. 

Since last week, these 17 sixth-year students have been hard at work performing their first surgery examinations at Neudam.

These surgery examinations included the spaying of female dogs, where they operated under the strict supervision of their specialised lecturers.  

Marais said they enrolled 25 students per year. Sadly, she said, only 17 of these students, who will now graduate next year, survived the race to be the first Namibian-grown veterinarians, as others could not make it. 
She, however, does not foresee any problems with their accreditation status, adding that they have been audited four times already by the council.

“Once they are satisfied that we have complied with them and we are following the curriculum as approved, hopefully they will accredit the school. That means our graduates will be registered as veterinarians to work and practice their profession in Namibia. We are so proud. We have come a long [way]. We started six years ago,” Marais noted.

According to her, their first group of students is doing clinical rotation, where the students go to different private or state clinics and facilities, including abattoirs, and commercial and communal farms. 

She revealed that the Unam School of Veterinary Medicine also sends the students to Pretoria to work in the Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital for three months before they go into the real world to practice. 
She explained that these students would work with the veterinary scholars in Pretoria where they will be doing x-rays, anaesthetic and surgery because Neudam does not have its own established hospital to do such practicals yet.
The sixth-year students are expected to leave for Pretoria in April for three months.
Unam will foot all costs to Pretoria.

“After that we will be confident that they have gained enough knowledge to be registered by the Veterinary Council of Namibia as veterinarians. This will be the first group of Namibians trained as veterinarians in this country ever,” she said. 
The tuition fee for the programme is between N$40,000 and N$50,000 yearly, excluding boarding fees. 

She said a school of veterinary is very expansive to set up and maintain, hence, funding remains a challenge. However, she is thankful to the government, Unam and the private sector for their continued financial and technical assistance. 
The Unam School of Veterinary Medicine is situated at Unam Neudam Campus near the Hosea Kutako International Airport.