Virtual Learning Centres

A regional approach to virtual training


The idea to establish a Virtual Learning Centers started as a way to transfer the competences required to organize and deliver online training from the European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (EuFMD) to FAO regional offices
This approach aims to increase regional capacity to train animal health professionals and also to better ensure courses offered are in line with the training needs of the countries in the target regions. 
The first VLC was established in Southern Africa in early 2020. This first VLC has been very well received, particularly in the current circumstances where organizing face-to-face training is challenging. As the VLC in Southern Africa collects its first success stories, a second VLC is starting to operate: the VLC for Asia and the Pacific.

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Success stories


VLC Southern Africa

We conduct our courses leveraging on a system of training focal points (TFPs) in the SADC countries. Training focal points mobilize training participants in liaison with Chief Veterinary Officers across the region. During the course of this year, over 200 participants from Southern Africa have completed an online course through the VLC. The courses available have included:

  •  A four-week course on foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) investigation
  • A six-week in-depth online training course on vaccines, vaccination and post vaccination monitoring.
  • A four-week in-depth online course on simulation exercises.
  • A four week in-depth course in the application of public-private partnerships in the progressive control of FMD and similar transboundary animal diseases.
  • A six-week in depth training course in risk analysis along the value chain.

The next course planned for the region is on lumpy skin disease. Please visit this link to find out more or register to take the course.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, face-to-face meetings and workshops have become increasingly challenging in 2020. The VLC hosted the meetings of the subcommittees of the SADC Livestock Technical Committee (LTC) and has just concluded the SADC virtual roadmap meeting for the FMD progressive control pathway (FMD-PCP).

Click the image to read more about the Virtual Learning Center for Southern Africa:

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VLC Asia and the Pacific

Since commencing activities in September 2020, the VLC for Asia and the Pacific has:

  • Coordinated participation of 54 trainees from the region in EuFMD online tutored courses on (1) FMD socioeconomic impact assessment and (2) FMD laboratory investigation.
  • Hosted a virtual awareness raising event for regional FAO colleagues to promote engagement with VLC activities.
  • Provided an open access lumpy skin disease short course in response to the emergency situation in Asia.

In 2021, the VLC for Asia and the Pacific will be launched officially, with delivery of a comprehensive tutored course on lumpy skin disease, commencing on the 7th January, and a diverse calendar of events planned with partner providers.


Corissa Miller introduces the VLC for Asia and the Pacific.






Get in touch with the VLC in your region

Do you want to know more about how the VLC works? Had you planned some workshops in Southern Africa, Asia or the Pacific and you are facing the challenge of the travel restrictions? 

Please contact eufmd-training@fao.org and we will pass on your query to the VLC teams.