UMN center creates new veterinary workforce initiative in Kenya, Uganda

April 23, 2019

Center for Animal Health and Food Safety receives a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support veterinary service capacity

ST. PAUL, MINN. --- The University of Minnesota (UMN) Center for Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS) was recently awarded $1.5 million over three years from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to design and implement education and training programs in Kenya and Uganda. The training programs will target the animal health and veterinary workforce in both the public and private sectors. The goal is to improve local, national, and regional practices for animal health, and promote access to international trade markets for sustained local development.

Gender experts from the UMN Humphrey School of Public Affairs will help ensure that gender-specific competencies are embedded in the curriculum and that gender-sensitive strategy is employed across the project to empower women and promote change in the region.

“Our project will advance the role of agriculture as a promoter of economic and social growth,” says Andres Perez, DVM, PhD, Endowed Chair of Global Animal Health and Food Safety and director of CAHFS. “The project will accomplish this by collaborating with colleagues in Kenya and Uganda to design interventions that will contribute to helping their countries reach the health standards required for the international trade of products, consequently helping these nations access international prices.”

Intergovernmental agencies, such as the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Trade Organization (WTO) have created a number of tools that help countries assess their national needs and opportunities for animal and public health, as well as their trade and development. Guided by the gaps identified through those assessment tools, and other tools developed by University of Minnesota experts, CAHFS will use this investment from the Gates Foundation to help key local and regional stakeholders to develop sustainable solutions and assess Kenya’s and Uganda’s respective potentials.

Ugandan and Kenyan participants will contribute to their national veterinary services, as well as animal health capacity and innovation, through strategic capstone projects. Program mentors will guide participants to develop proposals that will lead to improved animal health, food safety and security, and economic returns through access to international trade markets. This will help Kenya and Uganda better meet the needs of international standards and practices for animal health outlined by relevant intergovernmental agencies (such as the OIE, WTO, WHO, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). Proposals developed under the program will be presented to private and international funding bodies, such as the WTO Standards and Trade Development Facility, and the World Bank to pilot the implementation of solutions to the identified problems. 

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ContactsCAHFS logo


Andres Perez, DVM, PhD, Director of CAHFS, aperez@umn.edu, 612-625-0522

Ann Bateman, operations manager for CAHFS, bate0043@umn.edu, 612-624-5975]