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Recycle your old IT equipment to help African Vets

Vetstream, one of the companies behind an initiative to give vets in Africa online access to the latest CPD and point of care information, has called on the veterinary profession to bring redundant IT equipment to the London Vet Show so that it can repurposed for African vets as part of the African Small Companion Animal Network) project.  CloserStill Media, organiser of  the London Vet Show, has donated a free stand to the UK-based charity Computers 4 Africa, which prepares the equipment for its new role and ships it out to Africa.  

Vetstream has already donated more than 40 items of IT equipment, including desktop PCs, laptops and monitors to Computers 4 Africa. Through the AFSCAN project, it is working with the charity to bring more than 150 African veterinary practices online in five sub-Saharan countries (Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda) by the end of 2015. Called 'Distance Learning for Colleagues in Africa', the project is also sponsored by global veterinary supplier KRUUSE. Their efforts form part of the AFSCAN project which is being led by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association's charitable Foundation, to advance standards of veterinary care across the continent. 

Dr G Mark Johnston, Managing Director of Vetstream, explained: "These days we replace IT equipment so often that it is amazing how quickly a large pile of redundant equipment can build up.  Rather than letting it clutter up your office or throwing it away, this equipment can now be repurposed for vets in Africa who really need it.  The team at Computers 4 Africa data-wipe it and refurbish it before installing software and browser solutions and shipping it to Africa for use by veterinarians in the AFSCAN-participating countries." 

Sharon Roberts from Computers 4 Africa, added: "The veterinary profession is really behind this initiative and we're grateful for the equipment we have already received.  It's so kind of the organisers of the London Vet Show to give us this opportunity to highlight the real difference vets here can make to their colleagues in Africa, simply by donating equipment such as laptops, tablets, smartphones, leads, chargers and mice that they no longer need.   This is a real win-win across two continents."

Rob Chapman, Director of the London Vet Show, said: "We're delighted to support this initiative which seems to provide benefits for everyone. UK businesses get to reduce recycling costs while putting their redundant hardware to good use in supporting developing nations."

Vetstream is also providing its Canis and Felis peer-reviewed multimedia point-of-care encyclopaedias to veterinarians in the participating AFSCAN countries. 

Any companies or practices wishing to help are asked to bring equipment to Computers 4 Africa's stand at the London Vet Show on 19th and 20th November at Olympia Grand. Alternatively, they can: 

  • deliver it to Vetstream's offices near Cambridge
  • contact Computers 4 Africa which will arrange to collect the equipment free of charge for a minimum of ten computers plus other items
  • take it to one of the charity's donation centres around the UK - www.computers4africa.org.uk/appeals/index.php
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