APU and the Vienna Veterinary School Collaborate to Host Fellow from Sierra Leone

APU and the Vienna Veterinary School Collaborate to Host Fellow from Sierra Leone Sierra Leone continues to benefit from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) through the implementation of IAEA Technical Cooperation (TC) projects by utilizing peaceful nuclear techniques to accomplish national development goals.

Currently, the Department of Animal Science at Njala University and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security are implementing a TC projects SIL/5/006 and SIL/5/010, which aim at improving the productivity of the N’dama cattle in Sierra Leone. The N’dama is inferior in terms of milk and meat production compared with other breeds in the region and Europe. This can be attributed to the production constraints (inadequate nutritional status, poor reproductive conditions and diseases) to which the animal is subjected. The project is divided into three components, nutrition, reproduction and disease. Each component is working to alleviate the identified production constraints and enhance the performance of the animal.

As part of the projects, Dr. Saidu Kanu of the Department of Animal Science at Njala University was granted a two month Fellowship in ELISA techniques and Veterinary Diagnostic Bacteriology. The ELISA training (1st – 31st March 2007) was conducted at the IAEA laboratories at Seibersdorf and the training in Diagnostic Bacteriology (1st – 26th April 2007) was done at the Institute of bacteriology, Mycology and Hygiene (IBMH) in the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Austria.

The entire training programme was very good and appropriate to the development needs of the livestock industry in Sierra Leone. The Fellow also had the opportunity to meet with important personalities within the Agency and attended a few conference meetings including the "Early and Rapid Diagnosis of Emerging Diseases – focus on Avian Influenza” which took place during his visit.

Mr. Kanu found Vienna to be a naturally beautiful city and the people to be very friendly. He was particularly impressed by the Vienna International Centre, for the opportunity it offers to see and meet many people from different countries. The national costumes often worn by these people reflect a diverse range of people and culture working under the same roof. It shows how beautiful and wonderful human beings are only if we respect and love one another.

Saidu Kanu, Njala University, Sierra Leone (saidukanu@yahoo.com).