Opening the Channels of Communication – the CbVMA website

According to most definitions, a channel is defined as a length of water wider than a strait, joining two larger areas of water, especially two seas. In the Caribbean many of our islands are separated by channels. While these channels present spatial barriers between islands they are functional causeways across which our peoples interact and strengthen regional bonds. The development of the Caribbean Veterinary Medical Association (CbVMA) website adds yet another channel for the enhancement of regional communication.

This year for the first time the CbVMA found a sponsor for its website. Through the generous support of the Commonwealth Veterinary Association (CVA) the CbVMA was able to arrange for the development of a Conference website. While at present it caters mainly to the CbVMA conference and its activities, plans are already afoot to restructure it into a truly regional website. Discussions held among regional delegates at the recently concluded Conference, recognized the need to develop the site into one which grants members, a space to present their accomplishments, challenges and future plans; the delegates recognised that the website would give a voice to each association and serve as the medium for greater interaction. The vision of the website, would be one in which Conference activities are a mere component of the whole, while other CbVMA matters would occupy a more central role.

The CbVMA envisions a new website that facilitates a more active role of local associations in the development of local agendas and serve as the conduit for current events which affects the veterinary standards, social, ethical and economic lifestyles of veterinary professionals in the CARICOM Region. The revamped website will also serve as a medium over which the veterinary fraternity can be more interactive with clients and assist in broadcasting regional policies directed at the veterinary fraternity

A reconfiguration of the website’s current format and presentation was deemed necessary to reflect the changing dynamic in the Caribbean veterinary fraternity. To pursue the website adjustments over the next year, the CbVMA executive will utilize funds remaining from the CVA donation. Funding will also be sourced from proceeds of the 2017 CbVMA conference and in this regard a special thanks is extended to the Jamaican Veterinary Medical Association for its current contribution and its contribution to the site’s initial development in 2010. To reduce administrative challenges the site will remain in the care of the Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association but input will be sourced regionally.

The website restructuring will present many challenges, but also many opportunities. Its commencement promises to be easy but in its maintenance will lie the challenge. Perhaps the greatest challenge would be sourcing content which while present may not be readily accessible. As the Caribbean islands are separated, but paradoxically united by geographic channels, so can this website also serve to unite the peoples of the region. Embracing newer technologies, facilitating communication and fraternity are all key objectives encapsulated in the revamped website. As the CbVMA moves forward in developing its website, we look forward to the changes and take example from the successful rebranding of the CVA’s own website and the impact on its viewers.