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FG pledges policies, programmes for inclusive veterinary practice

The Federal Government says it is committed to ensuring policies and programmes geared towards inclusiveness and equity in the practice of veterinary profession in the country.

Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Sabi Abdullahi, made the commitment at the commemoration of the World Veterinary Day on Saturday in Abuja.

The event, organised by the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA), FCT Chapter, has the theme ‘Veterinarians are essential health workers’.

Abdullahi said government would ensure effective coordination of veterinary practice to enable the professionals take their pride of place as essential health workers.

The minister acknowledged that veterinarians were essential in protecting public health, ensuring the safety of food supply chain and preventing the transmission of zoonotic diseases to humans, thereby reducing the risk of disease outbreak.

He added that they help in addressing the impact of animal husbandry on the environment, spread of diseases from wildlife to domestic animals and environment, and the conservation of endangered species.

The minister said as pace setters in public health, veterinarians deserve the attention of both the government and private sectors, for effective service delivery.

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According to him, the theme underscores the need for continued support and recognition of the profession and its contributions to the society.

The minister added that the theme aligned with the one-health approach involving human, animal and environmental health in addressing global health security.

“The celebration is significant for recognising and celebrating the contributions of veterinarians to animal health, welfare and public health.

“Raising awareness about the importance of veterinary profession and the role of veterinarians in the society, it underscores the need for collaboration between different sectors to address global health challenges,” he added.

Dr Chinna Joe-Iruobe, Chairperson, NVMA, FCT Chapter, identified veterinarians as frontline defenders against zoonotic diseases that could be transmitted from animals to humans.

Joe-Iruobe, however, said in spite of the invaluable role of veterinarians as essential health workers, they are often overlooked in the country.

“Veterinarians by addressing diseases in wildlife populations, help to maintain ecological balance and biodiversity, but their role is neglected in our country,” she added.

According to her, veterinarians are indispensable members of the healthcare community, working tirelessly to protect both human and animal populations.

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“Recognising them as essential health workers is not only a matter of acknowledging their contributions but also ensuring a healthier, safer future for all,” the chairperson said. (NAN)

Felicia Imohimi
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