18 frontline veterinary officers begin training in Koforidua

About 18 frontline veterinary officers are participating in a three-week long intensive in-service Applied Veterinary Epidemiology Training (ISAVET) in Koforidua in the Eastern Region.

It is being organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases of Texas Agriculture and Mechanical University and other partners.

It seeks to address emerging infectious diseases and transboundary animal diseases in 14 East, Central and West Africa countries.

The first cohort training in the country is being piloted by a Global Health Security Agency (GHSA) initiative with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Speaking at the opening yesterday, the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Seth Acheampong, said there had been several spontaneous outbreaks of livestock diseases in the country including Rabies, Anthrax, Avian Influenza (bird flu), and Africa Swine Fever.

He added that the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Ghana and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology were among the key primary partners in adapting curriculum to serve the country and regional needs on field animal health service delivery.

“In light of this, the government will support the Veterinary Services Directorate to train more frontline staff in disease investigation using the ISAVET model, which is being implemented in Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Liberia, Sierra Leone and other francophone countries,” he added.

In a speech read on his behalf, the Chief Director of MOFA, Mr Patrick Robert Ankobiah, said there was the need for a comprehensive, integrated strategies and policies for Veterinary resource development to ensure timely and effective detection and response for emerging infectious transboundary animal diseases.

He added that as part of ensuring such expectations were met, the MOFA would partner with others to ensure that the programme was organised annually to constantly educate the personnel.

For his part, Dr Maina Gurba, the FAO-Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Disease Country Representative,  said the FAO and the VSD  had implemented requisite steps towards the rollout of the ISAVET front line training.

He added that the FAO was glad that the personnel were being trained to work in both intermediate level and advance level to detect, respond to Transboundary animal diseases and infectious diseases.

The Northern Regional Veterinary Officer of the Veterinary Service Department and Epidemiology Centre, Dr Evans Nsoh Ayamdooh, said the trainees were expected to come out with certain basic activities to strengthen the surveillance systems.

FROM AMA TEKYIWAA AMPADU AGYEMAN, KOFORIDUA

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