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29.10.2008 Health

Veep calls for multi-sectoral approach against re-emergence of veterinary diseases

By gna

Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama, on Wednesday called for multi-sectoral approach to facilitate the fight against the emergence and re-emergence of veterinary diseases.

He said through such collaborative efforts, rinderpest, a trans-boundary disease in cattle had been eradicated in the country, while the spread of avian influenza (bird flu) had been curtailed.

Alhaji Mahama made the call at the 17th congress and 34th Annual General Meeting of Ghana Veterinary Medical Association (GVMA) on the theme: “Control of Emerging and Re-emerging Diseases in Environment of Global Warming- A challenge to the Veterinary Profession.”

He noted that the collaboration among the more than 200 veterinarians in the public and private sectors has led to the combating of veterinary diseases in the country.

Alhaji Mahama extolled the importance of animal husbandry to the livelihood of people in the rural areas and any attack on their livestock could have devastating consequence on their income.

He praised the Food and Agriculture Organisation for offering 50,000 dollars to the Veterinary Service Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to boost the capacity of stakeholders in bio-security.

Mr. Ernest Debrah, Minister of Food and Agriculture said in a speech read on his behalf that climatic change was leading to the re-merging of diseases transmitted from animals to man like Ebola virus, rift valley fever and bird flu.

“Global warning affects land water, crops, livestock, fish and pets and there should be new ways of managing the risk they pose.”

Mr Debrah observed that a multi-pronged approach is needed at national, regional and international levels to reverse the situation.

Dr. Kwasi Bowi Darkwa, President of GVMA said since 1998 the organisation was under-resourced hence its inability to eradicate diseases like anthrax, brucellosis, contagions bovine plueroneumonia, foot and mouth disease and African Fever.

He called for better working conditions for veterinary surgeons since their salaries are nothing good to write home about.

Dr. Darkwa listed some achievements of the GVMA as the eradication of Newcastle, gumboro fowl pox and coccidiosis and the effective control of avian influenza.