Nigeria, FAO to train 60 Veterinarians on Animal Diseases Control

Ene Okwanihe, Abuja
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is set to train 60 veterinarians through its ongoing In-Service Veterinary Epidemiology Training (ISAVET) to detect and control animal diseases, including zoonotic diseases that can affect humans.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, FAO national coordinator  Emergency Center for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) Nigeria, Dr. Ayodele Majekodunmi, said the training is designed to enhance veterinarians’ skills and competencies to manage emerging health emergencies in animals through animal surveillance.
Majekundunmi disclosed that FAO intends to extend it to more states this year to cover the country which will also involve veterinarians from other sector like the police and the army.
According to her, huge impact was made in improving disease surveillance and reporting last year,  she further stressed the need to expand the reach to more states and private sector.
Speaking on the outbreak of Avian Influenza that has spread to several states, Dr. Majekodunmi said the FAO conducted a risk assessment wherein several people were trained and samples were collected to find out the current situation of avian influenza in their states and the risk of spreading to other states.
“We are using the information to see how to curb the spread of the diseases to other states and it can be curbed in the states affected”.
The The Chief veterinary Officer (CVO) in Nigeria Dr. Olaniran Alabi, said several states have been affected including some African countries with the most recent outbreak in Zamfara State.
Alabi, who was represented by the Director, Veterinary Control Service, Dr Maimunah Habib, said the federal government is trying to control animal diseases, given the fact that only biosecurity can be used to control the outbreak.
The Chief Veterinary Officer lamented that most  farmers are not doing the right thing and they are often adviced to insure their birds.
He said: “Government cannot compensate farmers with more than 3,000 birds, they can only compensate farmers who have their biosecurity in place as well as registered with an insurance company.
On farmers not reporting outbreaks on their farms, Dr Alabi said that is their major challenge as Federal government can only form policies, while states and local government must follow up with the farmers to ensure they are doing the right thing and ensure that good  veterinary services are employed to manage their birds.
The 60 veterinarians is in addition to the thirty cohorts of frontline veterinarians trained and deployed by the FAO’s Emergency Center for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) across 26 states in 2021 to tackle emergency animal diseases and improve food safety

Nigeria, FAO to train 60 Veterinarians on Animal Diseases Control

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