IVSA exists to benefit the animals and people of South Africa. We do this by harnessing the potential and dedication of veterinary students to promote the application of veterinary skills, education and knowledge.
A bit more about IVSA
IVSA Global was founded in 1951 as a non-profit, non-governmental organization run by volunteer veterinary students from across the world.
The aim of IVSA Global is to improve the standard of veterinary education internationally through the exchange of ideas, knowledge and culture.
IVSA South Africa’s role is to get more South African veterinary students involved with IVSA Global.
We do this by organizing group and individual exchanges, as well as promoting the various Congresses and Symposia worldwide that students can attend.
We also aid the community by getting students involved with our various projects, such as the SPCA Donation War, STOP TB Project, Tutorship Program and many more.
The International Veterinary Students Association is an international association that consist out of over 65 international chapters of which IVSA South Africa is one. IVSA South Africa aims to benefit both animals and humans, raise the overall standard of veterinary education and actively support measures to improve the standard of animal welfare worldwide. IVSA South Africa provides opportunities for veterinary students to undertake education in important areas outside traditional veterinary training and encourage cooperation between members, other veterinary student associations and international organizations.
IVSA South Africa has various projects this year that will support our measures to improve animal and human health as well as the welfare of animals by improving veterinary education. IVSA South Africa also gives students the opportunity to attend international events such as the annual Congress and Symposium. IVSA South Africa is very excited to be the host of the 66th IVSA Symposium brought to you by Ascendis Animal Health. Students will also have the opportunity to be part of exchange projects with other IVSA chapters.
A short description of some of our local projects:
MAVERIC Project with the OPVSC
Medical and Veterinary Rural Integration and Collaboration. This is a One Health Initiative aimed at collaboration between the medical and veterinary faculty of the university. The aim of this project is to work together to impact the lives of rural communities and their animals. This year we did an outreach in Zama-zama. The outreach was focused on small animal sterilization and vaccination, rabies education, oral hygiene education for children and basic primary health checks for the people of the community.
One Health Week:
This project was the first of its kind at Onderstepoort. The aim was to raise awareness about One Health issues among students on a global scale. This was achieved by collaborating with Texas A&M University and the University of California Davis. Over a 3 day period three different lectures about One Health were live streamed on Facebook from the different universities. The Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Science gave a lecture for IVSA South Africa on Tuberculosis and the video reached over 1 500 people.
Onderstepoort Primary Tutoring Programme:
IVSA South Africa is collaborating with the House Committee of Onderstepoort Residence to volunteer at an underprivileged school a few kilometres away from Onderstepoort. Every Wednesday a few student volunteers go to the school to help tutor the grade 1-3 learners in English. Onderstepoort students also prepare some sandwiches for the learners.
SPCA Donation Wars:
This event is to encourage students to donate to the local SPCAs. A competition is held between the different years and the year that donated the most receives a prize. All donations are then given to SPCAs in need. The specific SPCAs are then also invited to come and have a discussion session with students.
IVSA South Africa added momentum to the Global World Rabies Day last year by running a campaign that raised money to help students vaccinate dogs in rural areas against Rabies. The project involved selling World Rabies Day stickers for R10 (the cost of vaccinating one dog against rabies) on the university’s campuses, major high schools and to the public of Pretoria. The sticker gave the purchaser the chance to wear “funky socks” to school/work on World Rabies Day (28th of September). This symbolised that they have taken a step to help end rabies related human deaths by 2030. IVSA South Africa will run the campaign again this year, but will also be focussing on educating schools about rabies.
Anti-Rhino Poaching Project:
The aim of this project is to educate students on Rhino Poaching and actively contribute to the conservation of Rhinos. We are working with organizations such as Saving the Survivors and Rhino Connect. Various talks were held during the year. On World Rhino Day the talk by Dr Johan Marais, from Saving the Survivors, will be live streamed on Facebook to reach the global community. Students also have the opportunity to attend events held by Rhino Connect and assist them with projects, such as their Rhino Day Project and Renostermaan events.
Anti-Dog Fighting Project:
IVSA South Africa work closely with the NSPCA on this project. The aim is to raise awareness about the serious problem of dog fighting South Africa is currently experiencing. Students will give a presentation to different schools about animal welfare and dog fighting. Learners will also be educated on how to respond when they are aware of such activities.
Red my Lips Campaign:
Instead of wearing red lipstick during April, IVSA collected donations from Onderstepoort students for a shelter for abused women. In this manner we raised awareness about sexual violence and helped the community as well.
SCoVE Vet Talks:
SCoVE is the Standing Committee on Veterinary Education. This is a new portfolio for the IVSA South Africa Committee. The aim for this year is to arrange several VET Talks, almost the same as TED Talks, but the focus will be on veterinary topics. Several lecturers will gave talks on different topics, a video will be made and these talks will then be made available for students via the IVSA Facebook page and Youtube.