The 36 states in the country was called on by the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) to establish hospitals and private veterinary clinics across the states through the provision of lands to safeguard and protect public health. According to the association, the provision of land by the state governments is to prevent practising in premises which are around the market and shopping malls, as a result of the risks of public health that are attributed to it.
This call was made by NVMA in a communique issued from October 30 to November 3, at the end of its 59th Annual General Meeting (AGM). This programme was held in Lagos with the theme: “The changing spectrum of the global economy and the need for professions to align with global realities”. The President of the association, Dr. Oluwatoyin Adetuberu, was quoted by the communique, using her speech to urge members to be established in the frontline of public health to guarantee food safety and strengthen the relationship between animals and humans.
Governments were urged to employ veterinary doctors.
She implored them to effectively make use of opportunities to combat new challenges. The federal government was commended by the association for the building of three Veterinary Medical Centres in Kano, Gombe, and the FCT. This also includes the construction of primary animal health centres in 34 states. Furthermore, the government was urged to extend the building of Veterinary Medical Centres across geopolitical regions in Nigeria. Governments at all levels were called on to in areas that experience low man power in the animal health sub-sector.
Emphatically, the governments were called to establish an enabling environment which will enhance the practice of veterinary medicine through the provision of loans and grants, for young veterinarians. Also, owing to the immediacy of the situation, governments were urged to employ veterinary doctors that would boost and promote the animal health care delivery system. She stated that, as a matter of priority, the Federal government should establish structures for the beginning of houseman-ship to sharpen the skills of vet graduates in the management and diagnosis of zoonotic diseases and animals.
Call for partnership among stakeholders in the livestock sub-sector.
Furthermore, she recommended that the federal government should render their assistance by enhancing the promotion of surveillance on emerging, re-emerging and transboundary zoonotic diseases. The Governor of Lagos state, the Chief Host, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu was also referenced, as he stated that the calling of the partnership among stakeholders in the livestock sub-sector was to attack the challenges and difficulties impeding food security in the country. This statement aligned with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu.
Ruth Olusanya, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, who represented the Lagos State Governor, Sanwo-Olu, stated that the insecurity and persistent farmer/herder clashes in sub-Saharan Africa, natural disasters, emerging and re-emerging zoonotic diseases, and outbreaks of transboundary animal diseases were increased by the effects of climate change, which threatens food security in the country. In addition, the veterinary profession was charged by Sanwo-Olu to collaborate with the government in Lagos State, which is widely regarded as the residence of the highest consumers of livestock in the country.
Construction of veterinary laboratories should be supported.
More so, the Chairman of Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) , Dr. Ken Opara, was quoted by the communique, stating that the identification of veterinarians is to protect the welfare and health of animals. He explained that the method could be attained through the dissemination of data and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the treatment and diagnosis of animal diseases. He added that the construction of veterinary laboratories should be promoted and supported for instant and immediate diagnosis of zoonotic diseases, which will boost public health.