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14.04.2010 Education

UGCACS launches School of Veterinary Medicine

By GNA
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Accra, April 13, GNA - Authorities of University of Ghana College of Agriculture and Consumer Science (UGCACS) on Tuesday launched the School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) to train world class veterinarians in Ghana.

Dr Alfred Sugri Tia, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) in-charge of Livestock, said at the launch that Ghana had relied on Cuba and other Eastern European countries for the training of veterinarians.

He said the training to be provided locally must be comparable to the best obtained in internationally recognised institutions, adding that veterinarians produced in Ghana would be accepted to practice Veterinary Medicine beyond the borders.

Speaking on the theme "Veterinary Medicine - Serving Man by Ensuring Animal Health and Well-being," Mr. Sugri Tia said the Veterinary Council of Ghana had noted that the curriculum and the study programme proposed for training veterinarians locally should meet the requirement pertaining in other internationally recognised veterinary institutions.

He said the performance of the livestock sub-sector was low and that livestock and poultry production contributed only seven per cent to the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Mr Sugri Tia said government was committed to the Youth in Agriculture programme, and MOFA would ensure its successful implementation.

The Ministry presented a double cabin pick-up vehicle to the school to facilitate field work.

Mr Benjamin Kojo Ahunu, Provost, College of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences said the school would train competent veterinary surgeons to solve the numerous health constraints to animal production in Ghana.

He said the profession continued to suffer manpower attrition; veterinarians were leaving the practice to take up appointment in teaching and research, pharmaceutical industry, security service and politics.

Mr Ahunu said the overall objective was to train world class veterinary practitioners, public health experts and veterinary scientists with passion for the public good, both in improved animal food security and Zoonotic diseases (diseases transmissible from animals to humans) through animal disease detection, prevention and management.

Professor Clifford Nii Boye Tagoe, Vice Chancellor of University of Ghana, pledged the authorities' support for the School of Veterinary Medicine.

He urged the students to take their studies seriously since Veterinary Medicine was a difficult course.

Mr George Kwame Aning, Coordinator, School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) said the programme would be undertaken under three departments; Department of Veterinary Basic Sciences, Veterinary Para-clinical Sciences and Veterinary Clinical Sciences.

He said the six-year programme was for Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSSCE) and West Africa Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSSCE) graduates.

Mr Aning announced that the Association of African University was supporting the programme financially.

He said SVM was collaborating with Veterinary School, University of Wisconsin, North Carolina in the United States, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom and University of Guissen, Germany to initiate exchange programmes.

GNA

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