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Give us equal recognition with medical colleagues, vet doctors tell FG

Veterinary doctors in Nigeria have urged all tiers of government to accord them equal recognition with medical doctors for overall well-being of the populace.

The veterinarians made the call on Friday in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja ahead of the 2024 World Veterinary Day.

NAN reports that World Veterinary Day is commemorated annually on every last Saturday of April; the theme for 2024 celebration, which falls on April 27, is “Veterinarians are essential health workers.”

Prof. Lawrence Okonkwo, President, Alumni Association, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nigeria, said that most advances in medicine were either made by veterinarians and or in collaboration with human medical doctors.

Okonkwo said that the application of veterinary science contributed not only to animal health and wellbeing but also to human’s physical, mental and social wellbeing.

“Therefore, the advocacy for one’s health requires equal recognition of the roles of veterinarians and medical doctors,’’ he said.

Dr Ifeanyi Ogbu, Director of Finance of the alumni association and also the immediate past Chairman of the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA), FCT Chapter, identified the 2024 theme as timely.

Ogbu said humans needed adequate protein for proper growth and body functions as majority of the proteins consumed daily by human were from meat and milk.

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He specifically said that over 70 per cent of all infectious disease emanated from animals either through the consumption of infected meat, milk or by contact with an infected animal or animal products.

“Therefore, if there is no veterinarian on the globe, man should be in a chronic battle with over 70 per cent of the diseases that human hospitals cannot prevent.

“Diseases that have formed world pandemic over time were only nipped in the bud by the veterinarians. Such diseases are Coronavirus, Ebola virus, rabies virus, Lhasa virus, tuberculosis, avian influenzas and monkey pox virus.

“Others are brucellosis that causes miscarriage in women, fibroid in women, e-coli bacteria, typhoid bacteria, trichinellosis, anthrax bacteria, fungi infections, hepatitis among others.

“Veterinarians are trained on how to vaccinate live animals against these infectious disease, how to treat an infected animals and how to screen, examine, quarantine and condemn infected animal meat,” he said.

The veterinarian, however, encouraged government at all levels to engage the services of veterinary doctors in abattoirs in all local government areas across the country.

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According to him, such services will provide access to wholesome meat and milk products by people in remote and rural communities.

NAN reports that the World Veterinary Day was initiated by the World Veterinary Association (WVA) in 2000 as an annual celebration of veterinary profession.

The commemoration is to highlight and promote the lifesaving work performed by veterinarians across the globe.(NAN)

Felicia Imohimi
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