FAO trains vets on animal diseases control
The Food and Agriculture Organization [FAO]In partnership with the Directorate of Veterinary Services, a training program has been developed to equip veterinary professionals with the skills necessary to manage animal-specific diseases in the country.
Fasina Folorunsa is the FAO country team leader. She stated that improving the capacity to monitor epidemio is essential for managing emerging and existing zoonotic diseases in the country.
Folorunsa claimed that currently, they have trained and equipped 75 veterinary officials drawn from 17 different counties in Applied Veterinary Epidemiology.
The training, he said, will strengthen the officer’s skills in early surveillance, early detection, rapid response, prevention and control of animal specific diseases including trans-boundary diseases, zoonotic and emerging infectious diseases.
Folorunsa explained that the trainees are equipped with the skills, procedures, protocols and knowledge they need to work in the field for effective animal health surveillance.
Folorunsa said the trainees have been exposed to various studies including prevalence of enzootic pneumonia in pigs in identified slaughterhouses, Rift Valley Fever outbreaks, analysis of human – dog bites and tick control practices among other areas.
According to Dr. Harry Oyas (Deputy Director at Directorate of Veterinary Services), animal diseases pose a significant threat to livestock productivity as well as food security and market access.
Dr. Oyas stated that many of the diseases reported are zoonotic, which poses a major public safety risk. Therefore, it is important to take preventive and effective control measures.
Dr. Oyas stated that the trainees will be deployed to assist with field and outbreak investigations, epidemiological surveillance, and disease reporting and control.
“Effective surveillance of animal health events, data management and research provide for evidence based actions and policy development,” said Dr. Oyas.
Dr. Oyas pointed out that the country’s drought is having a significant impact upon animal health immunity. Any disease outbreak could pose a great threat to animals.
Director called for increased funding, awareness and deployment of sufficient personnel to the relevant government agency to help manage emerging animal diseases as well as potential spillovers to humans.
Willis Wago is a Farmers Choice vet who has been trained to deal with emerging diseases in pigs like Pneumonia outbreaks. If not caught quickly, this could pose a risk to public health.
By Erastus Gichohi
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