By Amara Christa
The Veterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN) and the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA), have pledged to assist the government in combating the ravaging coronavirus.
This is just as the two groups said their members would be on the ground to complement the government’s efforts to curb the spread of the virus.
In a joint statement issued and signed by the President of VCN, CP Aishatu Abubakar Baju and Professor Bello Agaie, President NVMA, they commended the government for the efforts so far in managing the spread of the virus.
They, therefore, said Veterinarians across the country are available to support the global efforts to contain the virus in view of its zoonotic potentials.
“The Veterinary community in Nigeria has noted with concern the ravaging effects of COVID-19 globally and particularly in our country, Nigeria and wish to commend the efforts so far put in place by the Federal Government through the Presidential Task-Force on COVID-19 Pandemic, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and other relevant stakeholders.
“Veterinary regulation and inspection service continues by overseeing the integration of public health, ensuring that only healthy animals and their by-products enter the food supply chain to guarantee food safety for the population
“They are prepared to attend to an emergency situation in support of public health. They undertake preventive measures such as vaccination against diseases with significant Veterinary and Public health or economic impact They prioritize research activities to help contain emerging and re-emerging zoonotic diseases”, the statement said.
The statement further stated that in support of the efforts of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with States Ministries of Agriculture/Animal Resources were already engaging in fumigation of high risk Veterinary related areas especially live-bird and livestock markets and promoting increased biosecurity in Poultry and livestock farms.
“In view of the zoonotic potential of COVID-19, Veterinarians across the country are available to support Global efforts in order to curtail infection by the virus through educating their clients, immediate community and the general public on the preventive protocols to contain the virus.
We have also called on Veterinarians as they undertake their work to safeguard their health, health of those they work with and their Clients by taking precautionary actions in their practices and premises by ensuring that appropriate levels of biosecurity are implemented to avoid further spread of COVID-19”.
The bodies, however, urged government at all levels to support the efforts already initiated by the Veterinary authorities and professionals to scale-up global Veterinary mandate in the face of this daunting challenge.
“Should there be a lock-down, Veterinary services should be understood by all concerned authorities as essential services.
“The Veterinary community in Nigeria is committed and prepared to work with all the relevant stakeholders and communities to end this pandemic”, the statement added.