Latest News27 July 2011
Research on Foot and Mouth Disease
During the official opening of the Hans Hoheisen Wildlife Research Station in August 2010, Peace Parks Foundation, with support from Turner Foundation, made available a donation towards priority research concerning veterinary issues in transfrontier conservation areas. The Research Station provides a dedicated platform for local and international researchers to conduct experimental work focused on animal diseases and related issues at the transfrontier interface between people, livestock and wildlife. → read more…
Development partners Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency, the University of Pretoria and Peace Parks Foundation re-opened the refurbished Hans Hoheisen Wildlife Research Station in August 2010. The Research Station provides a dedicated platform for local and international researchers to conduct experimental work focused on animal diseases and related issues at the transfrontier interface between people, livestock and wildlife.
The Hans Hoheisen Wildlife Research Station was refurbished and upgraded thanks to an investment by the Hans Hoheisen Charitable Trust (managed by BoE Private Clients as sole trustee), Fondation Hoffmann, Alexander Forbes, Turner Foundation and Peace Parks Foundation.
it was chosen as the topic for research. FMD is a highly contagious viral disease affecting cloven hooved animals and camels worldwide. While FMD does not cause extensive mortalities, its symptoms have major implications for livestock production, especially in intensive or high-producing farming systems, hence the global efforts to control its spread through livestock trade in and among countries. Two Master’s students at UP, Dr Iolanda Anahory from Mozambique and Dr David Lazarus from Nigeria, were appointed to work on the project.
Funding was received from the Hans Hoheisen Charitable Trust (managed by BoE Private Clients as sole trustee) and from the University of Pretoria to further equip the laboratories at the research station, making a meaningful contribution to the functionality of the laboratories for future research. It has enabled the research station to appropriately secure and handle FMD samples before transporting them out of the affected area.
The biobanking facility was completely enclosed, and was inspected by Mpumalanga Veterinary Services and the Directorate of Animal Health of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Procedures for the movement of samples to other laboratories, imposed because of biosecurity implications, were also streamlined with these two entities. The biobanking facility was used extensively throughout the year.
A PABX system, linking the laboratory complex to the student accommodation and staff houses, was installed at the research station. An outdoor enclosure for social gatherings at the student
accommodation complex was also completed. There is a continual student presence at the research station, largely because of their involvement in the University of Pretoria’s Mnisi community programme.
The Mnisi community programme in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park is progressing well, with over 25 projects registered in the region. International interest in the programme is growing, while interest in the activities of the students at Hluvukani continues. The Mnisi community programme is a multidisciplinary platform for research, teaching, learning and community engagement in the ‘One Health’ philosophy. At the centre of the programme are the Mnisi community and their animals, as well as the conservation areas surrounding the community. The ‘One Health’ approach necessitates multifaceted and interdisciplinary networking and collaboration between experts in the veterinary, human health, environmental, ecological, agricultural and conservation sciences, to name but a few.
The Hluvukani Animal Clinic, a joint project between Mpumalanga Veterinary Services and the Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital of the University of Pretoria, was officially opened in 2009 and serves the people of the community by keeping their animals healthy and disease free. The resident veterinarian is supported by veterinary students in their final year doing two-week clinical rotations in the community.