World Animal Health Information System screenshot
A Bigger Platform

When Dr. Kevan Flaming reflects back on the Center for Food Security and Public Health’s (CFSPH) role in launching a new e-learning platform on the World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS) he says he still gets goosebumps.

“This training benefits nearly every nation in the world,” said Flaming, CFSPH associate director, “and it is focused on the core mission of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).” The new e-learning platform was developed by the CFSPH at Iowa State University to provide users with an easy access to updated training material on using WAHIS to make animal disease notifications and reports.

Flaming says WAHIS provides a critical service to nations across the world. The reporting system includes a global network of over 200 countries that report data on over 100 high impact and emerging animal diseases. An individual or “Focal Point” is charged with submitting information for their country on animal diseases, making nations across the globe aware of new disease outbreaks.

“Each nation must submit reports on any disease outbreaks several times throughout the year,” Flaming said. “This is a really important job, one that isn’t straight forward and simple. We (the CFSPH) wanted to create training that was always available to the Focal Points.

“This tool should help improve the accuracy of the reporting by each ‘Focal Point’ and will prove to be an immediate way for new people in that role to get basic training.”

The OIE turned to the CFSPH for this expertise because of the group’s previous success in similar areas. This is just the latest in a series of on-line training programs that the CFSPH has developed over the years. For the USDA National Veterinary Accreditation Program, the CFSPH developed the web-based “Emerging and Exotic Diseases of Animals/Initial Accreditation Training Course.” The course is required for individuals to become accredited and is delivered to every veterinary school in the nation. It is also available in Spanish and has been offered in Mexico, Central and South America to thousands of users.

The CFSPH also developed and delivers the APHIS Approved Supplemental Training modules that the more than 66,000 accredited veterinarians must complete every three years to maintain their accreditation. These are just a few examples of the many online educational courses created and offered by CFSPH.

CFSPH is the OIE Collaborating Centre for Day-One Veterinary Competencies and Continuing Education, gaining that status in May 2016. And just last year, the center was nominated for the World Veterinary Day Award, one of only 25 organizations world-wide so named.

“We have an amazing team of veterinarians, web developers, graphic designers and staff that enable us to create these valuable educational tools,” Flaming said.