Leading Figure in Advancing Clinical Care for Companion Animals in Sub-Saharan Africa Helped Transform Global Veterinary Medicine

The North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) announced today it is honoring Emeritus Professor Michael Day, BSc, BVMS(Hons), PhD, DSc, Dr(hc), DECVP, FASM, FRCPath, FRCVS, and his contributions to veterinary medicine by renaming the annual Colin F. Burrows International African Small Companion Animal Network (AFSCAN) Scholarship the Michael J. Day AFSCAN Scholarship.

Emeritus Professor Day was an internationally recognized leader in animal medicine. As the inaugural vice president of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Foundation, Emeritus Professor Day helped to develop and lead the scientific aspects of its pioneering AFSCAN project to raise standards of companion animal veterinary care in Sub-Saharan Africa. He was a driving force in researching immunization, transforming global vaccination guidelines and developing the concept of One Health. His death was announced earlier this month.

Founded in 1995, the annual NAVC International Scholarship Program was created to recognize and foster international veterinary leaders. Each recipient receives an all-expenses paid trip to Orlando’s Veterinary Meeting and Expo (VMX), the world’s largest conference for continuing education for the global veterinary healthcare community. In 2015, the NAVC partnered with the WSAVA and the WSAVA Foundation to enhance the candidate selection process and introduce the AFSCAN Scholarship. In the same year, the entire program was named after Colin F. Burrows, BVetMed, PhD, DACVIM (SAIM), HonFRCVS, NAVC’s first Executive Director and WSAVA Past President.

“Emeritus Professor Day embodied the tenets of the NAVC’s Colin F. Burrows International Scholarship Program every day with his tireless work ethic, constant curiosity and intelligence, concern for the veterinary community and passion to spread education globally,” said NAVC CEO Gene O’Neill, CIA. “We are proud to honor his monumental career and carry on his legacy of service and knowledge through future AFSCAN Scholarship recipients.”

Emeritus Professor Day qualified as a veterinary surgeon from Murdoch University, Australia, in 1982. His research focused on companion animal immune-mediated and infectious diseases. He wrote and co-edited several textbooks and published more than 345 papers in the field of immunopathology. Emeritus Professor Day began working with the WSAVA in 2003, holding a range of roles, including membership of the Gastrointestinal Standardization Group and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee and, most recently, Honorary Treasurer on the WSAVA’s Executive Board. In 2010, he became founding Chair of WSAVA’s One Health Committee. He was Chair of the WSAVA’s Vaccination Guidelines Group from 2009 until March 2020 when ill-health necessitated his stepping down from this and his other WSAVA roles. He was also Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Comparative Pathology and was a trustee of several veterinary charities, including Mission Rabies and the Soulsby Foundation. In April 2020, Michael was appointed as the first Honorary President of Mission Rabies.

“The credibility and value attached to the AFSCAN Scholarship among veterinarians in Africa is the result of Michael’s hard work and ensures that, every year, we receive many high-quality applicants,” said Dr Gabriel Varga, President of the WSAVA Foundation and AFSCAN Lead. “It is just one of the many ways in which Michael contributed to AFSCAN’s success and we are deeply grateful to him. Our Board Members warmly welcome this proposal from Professor Burrows and gladly support it.”

Since 1995, the NAVC has awarded more than 70 scholarships to veterinary professionals. Applications for VMX 2021 are being accepted now through August 1, 2020. Scholarship winners receive one complimentary VMX registration, travel expenses, seven nights hotel accommodation, seven days of per diem, one complimentary Hands-on Workshop (based on availability), and VIP access to other VMX events and sessions. Click here for more information about the scholarship program and past scholars.

About AFSCAN

The AFSCAN project supports the development of companion animal science, association development, mobility and continuing education in Africa. It was developed by the WSAVA Foundation with the backing of the global animal health company Zoetis and a Consortium of other supporters. Its Project Board is chaired by Dr Gabriel Varga, President of the WSAVA Foundation and Director at Zoetis and Dr Theo Kanellos (Zoetis); Dr Remo Lobetti (referral practitioner, South Africa); Dr Kevin Stevens (practitioner, South Africa) and Dr Patrick Bastiaensen (OIE). Other supporters and sponsors of AFSCAN include the OIE, the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC), veterinary digital content provider Vetstream; veterinary charity Worldwide Veterinary Service and its Mission Rabies Project; healthcare advertising agency Circa Health, global veterinary equipment company KRUUSE, Petplan Charitable Trust and the Swiss SAVA.

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