The first meeting of the VRAs Platform was held in Tbilisi on 4th of May 2018 attended by Platform members - representatives from Shida Kartli VRA, Kakheti VRA, Adjara VRA, Imereti VRA, Kvemo Kartli VRA, Racha veterinarians association, private veterinarians from Guria (Lanchkhuti municipality) and Mtskheta-Mtianeti (Dusheti municipality), representative from International Association of Agriculture Development (IAAD), representative from the private veterinary sector from Tbilisi GRDD of GIPA, representatives from Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti and Samtskhe-Javakheti VRAs.
The platform meeting was organized online via Skype conference call. VRAs Platform members provided brief presentations on current situation in the regions, they informed about implemented as well as planned activities. The meeting aimed to select Platform chairperson and coordinator through the vote. Platform members voted and unanimously elected Mr. Zakaria Ginturi - chair person of Shida Kartli VRA as VRAs Platform chairperson and Miss. Ketevan Rukhadze - GRDD/GIPA representative as Platform coordinator. Platform members were informed that Mr. Ginturi would attend as a guest at the NAHP SG on 15 May, 2018.
Veterinarians Regional Associations (VRAs) Platform for Animal Health (AH) in Georgia is a mechanism reflecting the basic communication principles and establishing an experience sharing practices among regional AH stakeholders leading to raise the portfolio of private veterinarians in the regions through a bottom-up approach. The main objectives of the VRAs Platform for AH in Georgia are the following: Mobilize regional AH resources; Express one voice and one clear message, which improves potential for public/private partnership; Advocate and lobby of the AH issues at the national level; Provide space for dialogue and coordination in order to facilitate collaborative actions among government and local stakeholders; Mobilize knowledgeable and competent professionals from the field of veterinary and AH.
The development of the VRAs Platform for AH in Georgia has been supported by United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal Health (AH) program implemented science 2008 in Georgia by Georgian Rural Development Department of Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GRDD of GIPA) in partnership with Colorado State University (CSU). The current action will incentivize the development process of the Veterinarians’ Regional Associations already established in 7 regions of Georgia: Kakheti, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, Shida Kartli, Ajara, Imereti and Kvemo Kartli, uniting up to 270 private veterinarians actively involved in their professions. Finally, this will contribute to the associations’ main objective to improve the veterinary service in the country, improve the human and animal health and equip professionals with the modern standards of practice.
“It is my honor to be the head of the VRAs Platform and represent veterinary associations on the national level. I hope we will succeed our objectives.” - said Mr. Ginturi.