BVI, BIUST Agreement to boost Research

Finding a vaccine to eradicate Newcastle Disease is a specific project under the MoU


A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) entered into by Botswana Vaccine Institute (BVI) and Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) is expected to boost research and development and complement Botswana’s efforts to fight transboundary diseases and other diseases of public health and socio-economic importance.
Speaking at the joint signing ceremony last week, the General Manager of BVI Andrew Madeswi and the Vice Chancellor of BIUST Professor Otlogetwe Totolo revealed that one of the flagship projects under the MoU is research and development of various poultry vaccines, particularly for Newcastle Disease.
BVI has also assisted a BIUST student in her research on development of technology to ease detection of foot and mouth disease (FMD).
The two organisations expressed confidence that the research will yield successful results, after which it will be commercialised to help improve diagnosis of FMD in Botswana and the SADC region.
Over the years, BVI and BIUST have collaborated through exchange visits, human capital development and financing of a Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) festival.
“BIUST undergraduate and post-graduate students have gained tremendous workplace experience through internship placements at BVI, Professor Totolo noted. “This has exposed them to the real world of work and research.”
Through the Industrial Advisory Board, BVI scientists also help BIUST tailor-make curricula to facilitate production of work-ready graduates.
Speaking at the signing of the MoU, Madeswi explained that BVI’s mission statement emphasises the importance of collaboration in research and manufacturing of targeted vaccines for management of infectious diseases regionally and internationally.
“As BVI we are happy to be working with such an eminent research institution as BIUST,” he said. “We carefully collaborate with institutions that will complement our strategic business focus and support the delivery of solutions to our customers and stakeholders. BIUST is one such institution.”
For his part, Professor Totolo lauded BVI as an established institution that boasts an enviable track record in the field of scientific research. “As BIUST we stand a great opportunity to learn from BVI, particularly in research and development of sustainable animal health solutions,” he said.
BVI was founded in 1978 with the strategic mandate of ensuring the sustainability of Botswana’s beef industry by controlling trans-boundary animal diseases as well as diseases of public health concern.
Over the years, BVI has grown into a global provider of sustainable animal health solutions that produces and exports vaccines to over 15 countries in Africa and the Middle East.
Its partner in the MOU, BIUST, is a research-intensive university that specialises in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) at both undergraduate and post-graduate levels.