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13 May 2022 17:13

A veterinary career guidance awareness programme was launched in South Africa

A veterinary career guidance awareness programme was launched in South Africa

In a move to address a severe shortage in the veterinary sector in South Africa, a new programme was launched this week, awarding about 60 bursaries.

Internationally, the norm is to have between 200 and 400 vets per million of the country’s population and South Africa has around 60 to 70 vets per million, according to the Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA).

There is a shortage not only of vets but also para-veterinary professionals, such as veterinary nurses, animal health technicians and veterinary technologists.

To address the shortage, HWSETA together with the Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, launched a veterinary career guidance awareness programme on Monday and announced that they would be awarding no less than 60 veterinary science and veterinary nursing bursaries.

HWSETA chairperson Dr Nomfundo Mnisi said the key to tackling the shortage issue was reaching out to students in rural areas where there is less awareness around animal health.

“The veterinary sector is not widely known across all sectors of society. Animal health awareness is especially poor in rural areas. It is important to create awareness around the concept of ‘one health’ which incorporates human health, animal health and the health of the environment,” she said.

The programme would be visiting numerous schools in rural areas across the Northern Cape, Mpumalanga, Free State and Limpopo to encourage learners to consider a career in veterinary services.

As part of the programme, high school learners at the schools involved who meet entry requirements into the faculty of veterinary science and have a keen interest will also be awarded bursaries towards achieving their veterinary ambitions, as reported by Pretoria News, a partner of TV BRICS.


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