CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo - Animal health professionals from Kosovo, KFOR and the international community met here Thursday, Jan. 28, for a veterinary "Grand Rounds" event exploring animal disease and public health.
The chief veterinarian for Multi-National Task Force-East's Task Force Med, Col. Scott Cornwell, Fort Myers, Fla., said the meeting's objective was to develop enduring relationships among animal health professionals working in Kosovo.
"I hope it will open communications for discussing potential cooperative disease-control programs," he said. "Communication and cooperation will be the key to success. This conference is another step toward change and progress for a bright future in Kosovo."
The deputy chief executive of the Food and Veterinary Agency in Kosovo, Dr. Valdet Gjinovci, Prishtina/Pristina, gave the conference's keynote address.
"This is the first meeting that we are having in this way," he said. "It will be a very good experience, and it will help us on treating different animal diseases."
Cornwell said that the presentations on the schedule were designed to encourage conversation and to generate interest in new topics among the animal health professionals attending the conference.
Dr. Berat Hoxha, Prishtina/Pristina, presented a report on animal diseases in Kosovo and gave an update on Kosovo's Food and Veterinary Agency. Hoxha, who works with the agency, stressed the importance of cooperation and joint operations to address infectious diseases.
In addition, Dr. Jeton Muhaxhiri, Prishtina/Pristina, and Dr. Izedin Goga, Ferizaj, gave separate presentations on different aspects of Avian Influenza. Muhaxhiri works for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations while Goga is a pathologist with Kosovo's Food and Veterinary Agency.

Muhaxhiri brought up one example of a planned cooperative project involving KFOR. He said that several stations had been set up around Kosovo to fight Avian Influenza by tracking diseased birds and that the U.N. was hoping to open a site at Camp Bondsteel.
"Camp Bondsteel has several reservoirs that are visited by huge quantities of ducks," Muhaxhiri said. "Monitoring the ducks is very important for us and the reservoirs are easily accessible."

Also speaking was Dr. Karoline Schollmeyer, of Lubeck, Germany, who addressed European Union standards on food safety. She works for the European Union's Twinning Project. Dr. Boris A Yakobson, of Riga, Latvia, discussed rabies control in Kosovo. He is working with the European Union on a project to control swine fever and rabies in animal populations in Kosovo.

Col. David Floyd, of Hoover, Ala., the executive officer of the Camp Bondsteel hospital, said that he hopes the "Grand Rounds" becomes an annual conference hosted by the Institutions in Kosovo that will draw veterinarians from Kosovo and around the world.

"Veterinary students need to be more involved and we need to increase overall participation by other health care organizations in Kosovo to make this a more comprehensive event," said Floyd. "I'd like to see the next veterinary grand rounds to be held at the School of Veterinary Sciences in Prishtina/Pristina. This would enable the future veterinarians of Kosovo to share in the knowledge of the veterinarians who are paving a path before them and those of international acclaim."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16