The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has disclosed plans to train about 60 veterinarians, to curtail zoonotic diseases outbreaks across the country.
The FAO National Coordinator, FAO’s Emergency Center for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD), Dr. Ayodele Majekodunmi, disclosed this at a workshop on strengthening national response to highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak and National Workforce development strategy, in Abuja.
She disclosed that the ECTAD, through its In-Service Applied Veterinary Epidemiology Training (ISAVET), trained about 30 veterinary officers from 26 states in 2021, to improve their capacity to report diseases and improve on surveillance of zoonotic diseases in their states.
Majekodunmi disclosed that FAO intends to train another 60 veterinarians across the country this year, with plans to also spread it across other sectors like Army and Police, among others.
According to her, the importance of the training is to increase surveillance of zoonotic diseases across the country, saying without that information coming from the veterinarians on the front line, “we will not be able to strategise and plan as a nation on how to prevent diseases and improve animal health, improve food production for human beings and improve food safety.”
Majekodumi said they are working together with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Public health agencies, Ministry of health, Nigeria Center for Diseases Control, and Ministry of Environment to improve health for humans and animals, food production and food safety and security.
Speaking on the outbreak of Avian Influenza that has spread to several states, she said FAO is working to see how to curb the spread of the diseases to other states.
The Director, Veterinary Control Service, Dr. Memunah Habib, said some states have been affected, including some African countries with the most recent outbreak in Zamfara State, noting that the Federal Government is trying its best, given the fact that only biosecurity can be used to control the outbreak.
She however, lamented that most of the farmers are not doing the right things, as they are often advised to insure their birds.
FAO to train 60 veterinary officers in 2022.