Last week the Ontario Veterinary College hosted the Global Development Symposium at the University of Guelph, Canada as part of the celebrations for its 150th Anniversary.  Delegates came from all over the globe to share their experience in research and development that centred largely around the Ecohealth concept.  Among those delegates were VEVEP veterinarian Anne Drew and program co-coordinator Malavanh Chittavong who flew from Laos and Sweden respectively to share their experiences of the rabies vaccination campaign and poultry project that VWB have carried out in Lao PDR over the past 12 months.

Keynote speakers included politician and diplomat Stephen Lewis, Brian Evans, Chief Veterinary Officer of Canada and Dominique Charron, leader of the Ecohealth program at Canada’s International Development Research Centre and Veterinarians without Borders-Vétérinaires sans Frontières Canada’s own founding president, David Waltner-Toews.

Possibly more exciting than the presentations and speeches were the opportunities to chat with delegates about the great research and development programs happening worldwide such as Andria Jones-Bitton’s work on knowledge translation and research dissemination with Inuit in Iqaluit, Carol Zavaleta’s work in Peru on vulnerability of indigenous Amazonian communities to climate change and Karen Morrison’s work on ethics in population health research.  It was these conversations that were the most inspiring to keep on doing what we do!

Let’s hope that OVC makes this symposium an annual affair!

By Blanaid Donnelly