Helping hands in PNG

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Port Moresby, capital of PNG
Port Moresby, capital of PNG

Four emerging Papua New Guinea (PNG) scientists have begun a Charles Sturt University (CSU) training program designed to address a critical shortage of veterinarians in their country. The four science graduates are undertaking a three-month program at CSU in Wagga Wagga to further develop their diagnostic skills and understanding of animal health.

Dr Andrew Peters, a veterinarian and lecturer in the University’s School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, has made numerous trips to remote parts of PNG for his PhD research into parasite infections in Australasian pigeons.

He said there was an urgent need for animal health expertise in PNG.

“Despite having a population of six million people, many of whom are highly dependent on wild and domestic animals for food and other materials, PNG has only three national veterinarians,” Dr Peters said.

“My colleague Professor Shane Raidal and I are attempting to improve the skills shortage by developing the animal health capacity of scientists already working in PNG.”

The program is supported by the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation – a collaborative research alliance between CSU and NSW Department of Primary Industries; the Australian Government’s DAFF Wildlife Exotic Disease Preparedness Program; and CSU through its School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences and CSU Global’s Student Exchange Program.

The group arrived at CSU in Wagga Wagga on Monday 20 January and are due to leave on Friday 11 April.

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