Mark M. Rweyemamu
Technical Director, AVIS College53 Skylines, Limeharbour, LONDON E14 9TS, UK.
The International Animal Health Challenge
During the last decade, animal health has witnessed unprecedented challenges. These stem from a variety of causes, including: rapidly increasing demand for animal protein, the demand-driven livestock revolution, the ever increasing consumer demand for quality and safe food of animal origin, dynamic changes in livestock farming, animal movement patterns and marketing practices, globalised movement of people and commodities, increasing concern for animal welfare, changes in climate and changes in the world economic order. Concomitant with such events have been changes in the incidence, distribution and dynamics of infectious animal diseases both new and old.
These new animal health challenges demand newer and more dynamic approaches to the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge about the diseases, the standards, the regulation and strategies for their effective prevention and progressive control. This is now the new paradigm in the management of animal health not merely as an on-the-farm technical service, but above all, as an international collective responsibility.
AVIS (Advanced Veterinary Information System) was conceived in 1992 as an instrument for accelerating the adoption of the new information technologies into the global arena of animal health in order to facilitate access to authoritative information by animal health specialists throughout the world. It focuses on the development and production of internationally peer-reviewed, multi-media educational programs on infectious animal diseases including zoonoses and on food safety. AVIS has been championed by the consortium/parteneria of TELOS-Aleff Ltd, a specialised multi-media company together with the Institute of Animal Health (IAH), UK, and the two international standards setting and development agencies concerned with animal health, namely the Office International des Épizooties (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. AVIS is a knowledge management tool.
The AVIS College
Ten years after its inception, the AVIS concept has now matured enough to venture into the next stage of a wider involvement of the animal health scientific community in order to bring world expertise within easy reach of all who have a stake in championing the goals of equitable, safe and globalised trade to meet the unprecedented high and increasing demand for animal products and world food security. This is the AVIS College without walls.
The AVIS Offering
The AVIS offering has now stabilized. It is modular in nature, disease and disease management focused. It is now fully internet enabled and offered as full multi-media suite that can be delivered either on CD or via the internet.
There are 3 categories of products:
The AVIS Overviews - These are freely available on the FAO-EMPRES, Aleff Group and AVIS College websites.
The AVIS full programs - These are programs that are authored by AVIS editors in close collaboration with the AVIS Consortium Partners. They are peer-reviewed and signed off by the AVIS Consortium Partners. Rinderpest, FMD and CBPP are examples of this category. They are available either on CD or via internet subscription by a cost-recovery system based on equity pricing with discounts for educational establishments and for developing countries.
Commissioned AVIS Related Programs - Consortium Partners or others may commission special programs on terms agreed between TELOS-Aleff and the client.
Examples include the rabies programs for North and Latin America and the GEMP program of EMPRES.
The AVIS Program Structure
The AVIS programs in the pipeline will be based on a 7-module structure, namely The Overview, The Disease, The Cause (including laboratory diagnosis), The Epidemiology (including surveillance and risk analysis), Disease Management, The Human Disease (as applicable) and The Resources (including, Tables, Charts, Images, Videos and interviews).
The CBPP program being demonstrated is the first in the new offering.
Further information may be sought at http://www.aviscollege.com