CVA Councillor Profile – Dr Joshua Ngwisha of Zambia

Q1. Tell us about you, your family and where you live?

My full names are Joshua Chibuye Ngwisha, though my middle name is only known by those closest to me and does not appear on my official documents. I was born in Zambia in a small pineapple producing town called Mwinilunga in the year 1986 on the 4th of October. I am the only child of my two late parents who passed in 2004 (father) and 2017 (mother). I was trained as a veterinarian at the University Of Zambia, Samora Machel School of Veterinary Medicine and graduated in the year 2010.

I am currently serving as the first ever veterinarian within the files and ranks of the Zambia Air Force practicing large animal medicine and veterinary public health.

I am happily married to Talitha Maloba who is the mother of my two children, my daughter Twasanta Esther Kaluba Ngwisha born on 3rd July 2014 and my son Benny Ryan Chibuye Ngwisha, born on 15th August 2015.

I live in a remote town called Mumbwa in Zambia, at an Air Base located approximately 140Km from the Zambian capital city Lusaka.

Q2. What is your favourite food?

To be honest, I am not so sure, I love good tasting food of course but am not so selective. A well roasted fish usually does it for me.

Q3. Do you have any favourite music?

My favourite music a few years back was hip hop and reggae, but with the passage of time I have begun to prefer Gospel and classic music.

Q4. What is your favourite sport?

My favourite sport is soccer, though I play pool quite often, enjoy swimming and am currently developing my golfing skills.

Q5. Tell up in a paragraph what your current veterinary position is.

I am currently the Veterinary Association of Zambia(VAZ), Commonwealth Veterinary Association(CVA) councillor, elected on the 27th of April 2018 and will serve in this capacity for a period of three years in accordance with the VAZ constitution at which point I will decide on whether to seek re-election or not.

Q6. What influenced you to become a veterinarian?

I have always had a passion for medical practice from a very tender age having had a couple of cousins and other relations serving as Medics mentoring me. I therefore developed the desire to study something different from what all the others had studied in my family and opted to become a veterinarian, which in my view is more exciting than human medicine.

Q7. What do you enjoy most about being a veterinarian?

I really love surgery, and helping poor animal owners who are so passionate about their stock dearly depend on it for their livelihood.

Q8. What are some of the main challenges for you and your national veterinary association?

Some of the main challenges for me as a vet are:
a. Inadequate diagnostic capabilities in areas away from the capital city, implies that most medical treatments and related decisions are purely based on tentative diagnoses.
b. The absence of a proper national referral veterinary hospital also poses a huge challenge.

At the national Veterinary Association level, the challenges include:
a. Lack of office accommodation implies that most of our meetings have to be held in private board rooms.
b. Lack of a properly functional legal framework governing the profession, which has led to poor enforcement of legislative provisions.
c. Poor remuneration of professionals is also a huge challenge affecting performance and morale, leading others into pursuing medical degrees in search of better remunerated opportunities.

Q9. How do you communicate to your organisation about the CVA and its activities?

The advent of electronic and mobile means of communication has made communication so much easier nowadays. E-mails are often sent out along with various interactive social media platforms such as Facebook and Whatsapp.

Q10. How do you think the CVA can assist you in your Councillor Role?

The best assistance I would seek from the CVA is in raising a multinational or high level campaign to address some of the pressing concerns that our veterinarians encounter as highlighted above as most vets serve very remote and underserved communities and encounter a lot of challenges and risks in the execution of their duties but are the most poorly remunerated in Southern Africa getting as little as $600 in a month.

The other assistance I would like to seek from the CVA is with regard to support in terms of literature requirements and opening up opportunities for the ordinary VAZ membership to equally benefit from the CVA programs.