The ‘Applied economic modelling’-course enabled me to gain further insight on a range of economic modelling methods. Such methods are very important for my research work and will facilitate understanding of problems I’m studying. I really enjoyed practicing these methods and my colleagues and moderator were always there to help. I would highly recommend this course to others like me who are interested in animal health economics.
My name is Walter Okello and I’m 35 years old. I’m a Kenyan by nationality and a veterinarian by profession. I’m currently doing a PhD in Animal Health Economics through the University of Edinburgh. My research work is based in Eastern Uganda where I’m studying the economics of Restricted Application Protocol (RAP) a tick and tsetse fly control method. I hope to find out if RAP is a cheap and effective method that can be used by low resource farmers for control of tick-borne diseases and trypanosomiasis including zoonotic trypanosomiasis.
The virtual learning environment provided me with an opportunity to interact and discuss a myriad of issues with my colleagues all over the World. The shared experience from the various backgrounds made my learning interesting and better. Distance learning enabled me to undertake such a course because it was affordable. This was important given the majority of students from developing countries who cannot afford most courses given face-to-face. The flexibility provided by virtual learning provided me with an opportunity to be with my family, enjoy their company and support throughout the course. I was also able to manage my time better. I would highly recommend distance learning to veterinarians, economists, those in development, policy makers and all students especially in developing countries.
Apart from networking, I have learnt how to apply economic modelling methods and I’m currently using them in my research work. I have also had opportunity to share what I’ve learnt with my peers.