A century of teaching veterinary parasitology in South Africa – Lessons learnt
Author(s)Penzhorn, Barend Louis
South Africa (SA)
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AbstractFinding a healthy balance between classical parasitology and clinical veterinary medicine remains a challenge. Veterinary Parasitology, of vital interest in sub-Saharan Africa, has always featured prominently at the Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria (founded in 1920). The faculty was initially an integral part of the Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute (OVI), and parasitology was taught by specialist researchers from OVI – a cult of total coverage prevailed. Presenting three separate courses – ectoparasitology, helminthology and protozoology – continued for many decades. From 1949 to 1973 an attendance course in veterinary parasitology was presented in the final academic year. This was revived in 1995, with a “refresher” in parasitology for final-year students (during their clinic rotation), including diagnostic parasite identification and problem-solving group discussions (prepared and led by students). Student contact time (including practical classes and assessments), initially 80 h/discipline/year, was gradually reduced. A species-based approach (introduced in 1998) had a major impact - an introductory course in general parasitology was followed by fragmented lectures in the subsequent 2 years on key parasitic diseases in the species-based subjects. In 2013 the curriculum reverted to being discipline-based, i.e. all aspects of parasitology and parasitic diseases covered during one academic year. The 3 sub-disciplines are included in a 2-semester course, with a total contact time of 100 h, which barely meets the minimum recommended by the WAAVP. Various lessons learnt are discussed.
Veterinary Tropical Diseases
Penzhorn, B.L. 2018, 'A century of teaching veterinary parasitology in South Africa – Lessons learnt', Veterinary Parasitology, vol. 252, pp. 62-66.