Vet 5 Students On Exchange at Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia

16 March 2016

For the second year running, the University of Gadjah Mada has collaborated with the University of Sydney to develop a successful exchange program between the Veterinary faculties of the two universities. This program saw four students (Charis Hii, Weiling Koh, Magalani Tan Liang and Anita Trinh) travel to Yogyakarta as part of our Public Practice rotation for our final year of the Bachelor of Veterinary Science.

The 4 weeks encompassed sub-rotations involving visits to smallholder farmer collectives, Prof. Soeparwi Hospital (the University's small animal hospital), Balai Besar Veteriner Wates (the Central Disease Investigation Centre of Yo gyakarta), and the wet markets. We quickly realised from our farm visits that 'common things do [indeed] occur commonly', with herd health problems similar to those of Australia such as mastitis and parasitism and common small animal clinical presentations such as the 'blocked cat' or the 'itchy dog'.

We were also very privileged to learn about notifiable diseases that present a public health risk in Indonesia such as Anthrax, Brucellosis and Avian Influenza. These diseases were seen as a recurring issue on smallholder farms, within wet markets, on commercialised production systems and within the national disease investigation centres. Being able to discuss with the people affected on multiple platforms, gave us a better perspective of public health as an integrated system of prevention, management and surveillance in Indonesia.

Throughout our stay, we were graced with wonderful hospitality from the students and staff of the University of Gadjah Mada and have formed many friendships along the way. We would highly recommend this program to any student willing to learn about Veterinary Medicine and Public Health in a developing country and are open to new and exciting cultural experiences.

This exchange program was led by Prof Aris Junaidi at The University of Gadjah Mada and A/Prof Jenny-Ann Toribio at the University of Sydney. Accommodation was kindly provided at the Faculty Guest House by UGM Dean Joko Prastowo.