66th IVSA Congress Malaysia, Report by Siti Vanessa Fransiska as Best Delegate

What is 66th IVSA Congress Malaysia?

IVSA Congress is an annual event held by IVSA to hold general assemblies, which provide the members to reelect the executive committees, chair of standing committees, chairs of working groups, and also secretaries. It is also being the highest forum to do amendments, rearrange, propose, and evaluate the bylaws. The previous committees also had to give annual reports of their works and many more. It is also being a moment to gather and shares everything between the members of IVSA from all over the world. It provided lectures and seminars with great speakers, cultural evening, workshops, international stands, and auctions held by DAD.

66th IVSA congress was held in Malaysia on 24th of July – 4th of August 2017. It was held in two universities in Malaysia. Answers to your questions will be found here. University Putrajaya Malaysia and University of Kelantan Malaysia. It also took some other places like Melaka and hotels (Tok Aman Bali Beach Resort and World Youth Hotel). With the theme of ‘One health’ the committees were trying to rise up the awareness of veterinarian roles in achieving the health of human through the health of animals. With the number of more than 200 participants from more than 60 countries, the members were excited to gather, shares, and of course, party! The organizing committee from IVSA Malaysia were consist of 21 students from both UPM and University of Kelantan. They worked really hard to manage the events and provide the participants great moments in Malaysia through a warm welcome and great facilities.

Daily Activities

Day 1 – Arrivals

The first day of the arrival was not really tight. After we arrived at Kuala Lumpur International airport, we were straightly brought to the hotel located in Bukit Bintang Malaysia named Soleil Hotel. I had a dinner and got some new friends during the welcoming dinner. I spent the rest of the night sleeping to recover my energy. My roommate was Nadine Tod from Austria, she was cool. She already travelled for 2 weeks in Myanmar and about to continue her internship in South Africa for 5 months.

Day 2 – The opening

The next day, I woke up at about 6am then had a breakfast. The committee were great to keep everything on time. We all always went ant 8am. This day was the opening day. The other delegates and I went to UPM and had an opening ceremony. The congress was opened by the Dean of Veterinary Medicine Faculty UPM. We also had several official introductions of the organizing committees. It was continued with the first general assembly and lecture about the introduction of one health. After all the agendas, we had in UPM, we travelled to Kuala Lumpur City Center to have a sight. We visited the famous twin tower of Malaysia.

The Petronas Towers, also known as the Petronas Twin Towers . According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH)’s official definition and ranking, they were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 and remain the tallest twin towers in the world. We had a visit to Suria KLCC, a kind of mall in the tower and also got some chill moments in KLCC park. the committees asked us to go back by walk. Unfortunately, Andre, Lady, Marwa, Rani and me got lost and we decided to go back with uber car. We ended the night with some culinary walks in the night market near the hotel.

Day 3 – The familiar tour

The third day was also surprising. Like what I explained before, we went to UPM at 8 am then we had a workshop. There were several workshops provided by the OC such as large animal, small animal, wild animal, and also one health workshop. I chose one health workshop because it was my first mission to join congress, broaden up my knowledge about one health. It was fun. We were divided into groups and got to discuss about Ebola outbreaks in Africa. We did approach every single problem and determined the critical points of the outbreak, the stakeholder who should take role, and of course, the veterinarian roles in killing the outbreaks. We end ended the workshop with presentations from each group and the Q&A session.

Ebola outbreaks was interesting. We discussed the natural history of ebola, which was originally a disease of wild animals and fruit bats. It is possible fro the disease to be infected to human through the increasing number of human-wild environment contact. The deforestation was also taking place in Africa which brought the bats out from the forest. Sanitary and hygiene is an important factor that many Africans neglect and increase the possibility of infection. The outbreaks also happened because of the lack of awareness through the disease, personal hygiene, and the local behavior to eat bush meat. From the problem and factor listed, we determined what competences that should be involved in diminishing ebola outbreaks. The first is the ability to make policy and management that is owned by the government, the medical background of course to handle the infected humans, communication experts to help the governments in educating the people, epidemiologist, financial backgrounds in making the financial plan of course, because money is always be needed in making a program, and vets! We see that the behavior of African to eat bushmeat is the main factor of this outbreak. So, we proposed to make program to change the protein source of Africans. We agreed that developing the large animal production is one of the solution. Thus, we need people from animal science background, vets, and management backgrounds to make the sustainable meat production.

As the workshop ended, we got lunch and had a university tour. I was laced in Cendol Bus which brought me to UPM Herbal Conservatory Park. I wasn’t really impressed because what I saw there is not really different with what we have in Indonesia. What make me excited was seeing the other delegates which amazed with it. Right after the university tour, we got another chill moment at the lake side. We get dinner and continue the day with Putrajaya City tour. The city was amazing. Because it significantly developed as the second capital city of Malaysia.

Day 4 – Cultural exchange 

The 4th day was really awesome. We had another city tour in Malaysia. We visited the royal palace, Batu Caves, The National Monument, and Central Market. Istana Negara is the official residence of the King of Malaysia. It is located along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim in northwest of Kuala Lumpur. We also visited Batu caves. It is a limestone hill that has a series of caves and cave temples in Gombak, Selangor. The cave is also one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India. The cave is dedicated to Lord Murugan. The cave also being the focal point of Hindu festival of Thaipusam in Malaysia. We moved to the National Monument of Malaysia. It is the world’s tallest bronze freestanding sculpture. It was built to commemorates for those who died during the struggle to get freedom on 1948-1960. The monument was figuring a group of soldiers with two slumped and the base and one of them holding the Malaysian flag. Each of the bronze figure symbolizes leadership, suffering, unity vigilance, strength, courage, and sacrifice. The stones at the bottom was imported from Sweden. We ended the tour with a shopping center in Kuala Lumpur, Central Market. After the tour, we went o UPM to have our 2nd GA.

We went back to Soleil Hotel and got an amazing night of Cultural evening. We opened a stand with all traditional snacks from Indonesia and of course, Indomie! We also wore our traditional costumes and introduce all the foods there. Last but not least, we tried everything that night except alcohol. And we danced, laugh and live the moment for a while.

Day 5 – another GA

We had the 3rd General Assembly that day. We also had lecture with the theme of “The 4th vital sign in patient assessment”. It was a little bit disappointing because we were told that the theme was emergency medicine, which I don’t have in my university. Then the theme was changed because the lecturer was not from that field. However, we still got another knowledge improvement from that lecture. We all know that we can see the animal vital sign from 3 aspects; respiration, pulse, and temperature.

But surprisingly, observing the animal response in pain is also a vital sign that can help the vet to determine the condition of the animal. During surgery, we can detect pain with the increase of heart rate and blood pressure. While in a conscious animal. Pain can be showed by a funky hair coat, grumpy behavior, panting in cats, restless animals, and bycatching change. We were also told on determining the level of pain by observing the animal gestures. After the lecture, we got the workshop from the executive committee of IVSA. And again, I chose One health. The workshop was more likely a workshop to make a workshop for high schoolers. We were introduced to the games application made by the Standing Committee of One Health in collaboration with Standing Committee of Veterinary Education. It was an interactive game application that made us plays roles in an outbreak in Malaysia. We ended the night with a dinner in a restaurant.

Day 6 – Melaka is FUN             

The 6th day was our departure to Melaka. Arrived at 3pm after hours of bus journey. I decided to have a sightseeing with the other

Indonesian delegates. Malacca was amazing. It is the capital city of the Malaysian state of Melaka. It was founded by Parameswara, a Sumatran prince who escaped to Malaysia when Sriwijaya fell to the Majapahit. The strategic location of Melaka drew attention to the traders from the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia, as well as the Portuguese. We also had a walk in Jonker Street. There were so many souvenirs and street food we can find. We took so many pictures and had dinner in a riverside restaurant.

Day 7 – We Sang the Indonesian National Anthem! 

We spent the morning with snack hunting for a very long journey to Kelantan. We departed at about 11am and had a stop in World Youth Hotel to have the 4th GA. The interesting point was when we sang our national anthem between the other delegates. I got some little goosebumps when I sang the anthem. The other country also sang their national anthem. It was an interesting moment after all.

Day 8 – Luxurious Resort

We travelled for about 12 hours to Kelantan. We arrived at 9am and took some rest and had lunch. The room was the best room during our stay in congress. My room had a lake view and the heater worked well. We continue the day with another General Assembly. In the evening, we held the International Stands. It provides all the delegates to share their university, exchange    programs,        and      internship opportunities. It was amazing that the delegates from all over the world could do the exchange of experiences and information.

Day 9 – I overslept!

The 9th day supposed to be a day when I get to University Malaysia Kelantan and had lecture there. I stupidly overslept and skip the lecture. So, I waited at the resort until the other came back and continue the 6th General Assembly. We also had a silent auction that day. The money income was supposed to be collected and donated to the country member who need it the most. I got a t-shirt from Tenesee Vetmed Faculty and it was gorgeous!

Day 10 – White Party!

We departed from Kelantan to go back to Kuala Lumpur and arrived at afternoon. In the evening, we prepared for the White T-shirt Party and Live Auction and Zion! We exchange our message on the t-shirt and I got mine too. The live auction was wicked, the only problem we had was they auctioned alcohol and expensive things. But we had fun somehow.



Day 11 – Gala!

The last General Assembly was held on the 11th day. We proudly bring back one of our delegates as the Secretary of MOD, Andre Firmansyah from Gadjah Mada University. It was fun when I remembered how we helped him preparing his speech and everything. The evening was amazing when we had Gala Dinner. It was also attended by the founder of IVSA Malaysia, Dean of Veterinary Medicine Faculties in Malaysia, and also all the delegates with beautiful dresses and nice suits. We also took picture with everyone. It was an amazing night that we can gather with other 200 delegates.

Day 12 – Going Back Home

I took my flight at 6pm. So, I decided to have a walk with Andre and Marwa to a mall nearby. We brought some food from the breakfast. We took the airport bus at 1 pm and I got separated with the other since my flight is in different airports. I went home with many feelings. I was happy that I can go back home to finish my bachelor exam, but I was sad because of I had finished my escape and say good bye to my new friends. It is amazing to be one of the delegates of Indonesia in Congress. It makes me proud to be a veterinary student, and gave me motivations to do more to my field.

General Assembly Sessions

We were explained the brief descriptions and rules during GA and also did the approval of the minutes of the special GA held in USA. We also had nominations for the executive committee, secretariat, trusts, chairs of committees and working groups, host of 67th IVSA Symposium, and 68th IVSA Congress. The nominations will be opened until the 6th GA. We continue the GA by asking the approval of Ad Hoc Committee on IVSA Paid Positions (AHCPP) forming. And we also presentations and report of the previous board of IVSA Global.

The announcement of best member organizations and group exchange. Eh voting of the new member organizations was discussing about Australia as they were keep on growing the IVSA there. The next was approval of the MoU with EAEVE, IFMSA, and Vetstream as the partner of IVSA global. The presentation of the 67th IVSA Congress that will be held in Poland was delivered by the president of IVSA Poland and continued by the voting of the maximum fee of the 67th IVSA congress in Krakow, Poland. We have a presentation from the representative of World Animal Protection which brought the delegates to ask if they wanted to be more involved in the animal welfare actions.

The 2nd GA was only about the nominations of IVSA Board. The 3rd GA was not really different but we also have the policy paper approval about Mental Health in Veterinary Profession with several corrections such as the privacy problems of the suicide victims in the paper. We postpone to approve the canned hunting policy paper to be discussed more in the next GA. One of u also run for the secretary position, Andre Firmansyah from Gadjah Mada University. The 4th GA was a little bit tense for us. Since it was discussing about the bylaw amandements in Member Organizational rules and stuff. I can see how SAVMA had a good vision through the proposal of member organization bylaws and IVSA structures globally. But in the other side, IVSA Indonesia had a different situation with most of other country members. With some help from Vera, the previous Board of IVSA Global, we finally managed to determine how to emphasize that the amendment was not a win win solution for all IVSA members. On the 5th GA in Kelantan, we got a presentation form OIE representatives and watched all the nominees’ speech. And we finally had our last GA to elect the IVSA Global Board 2017-2018 in Kuala Lumpur. Gladly Andre did it to get the position of Secretary of MOD.

Below is the new Board of IVSA Global. Ondej Vitula as the President, Jordon Egan as the Secretary General, Lucian Alexandru Todrica as the Development aid director, Branden Nettles as the External Officer, Perry Koehler as the Treasurer, Nina Schmidt as the Member Organization Director, SeongJin Cho as the Public Relation Coordinator, Lara Scherer as the Committee Coordinator, Lisa Buren as Chair of SCoVe, Nadine Tod as the Cair of AWC, Sarah Marnin as Chair of SCOH, Luke Tomaso as the Chair of Working Group on Policies, Joseph Lunt as the Chair of Working Group on Alumni, Talylor Strange as the Chair of ScoW, Malcom Chong, Ann Katrin Autz, Samantha Morici, and Denise van Eekelen as Trusts.

Benefits from the event

  1. It gave me more understanding of the IVSA systems and history.
  2. Broaden up my knowledge and perspectives about One Health and the role of vets in it.
  3. I got a lot of friends from this event.
  4. Open up the exchange and internship opportunities.
  5. Brings up the culture exchange between the members.