The Veterinary Council of Ghana is calling on government to fulfil its promise of employing more veterinary doctors and invest more in the area to position them to adequately tackle issues associated with Bird flu, swine flu among other emerging animal-related diseases in the country.

Stakeholders within the veterinary services space have over the years complained about what they describe as the neglect of their area by successive governments in Ghana.

They believe this does not put them in a better position to help prevent the spread of diseases such as bird flu, swine flu and many others.

It appears the situation is seeing some sort of improvement as tertiary institutions such as the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), University of Ghana and the University for Development Studies are training more persons.

KNUST for instance, has since 2009 been training many people in the area and has so far had seven different batches graduating.

During KNUST 7th School of Veterinary Medicine oath swearing ceremony, various speakers stressed the need for authorities to pay serious attention to the field.

The members of the Veterinary Council of Ghana say they are worried that they have not been given the deserved attention.

Speaking to Citi News on the sidelines of the graduation ceremony, the chairman of the council, Dr. Jonathan Amakye-Anim urged government to invest more in the area.

“The government even promised that the investment will be in terms of vehicles and all that. This is because most of the time, these are logistics that we can work with. In order for us to control outbreaks, we need logistics such as vehicles and materials we use for biosecurity. The government actually promised that they were going to do something about this, that is why we want them to do it. They said they were going to employ about 1000 veterinary personnel. Basically, what we want the authorities to do is to employ more veterinary personnel. The government has to employ them to help control most of these diseases”.

Another pressing issue the council wants addressed is the issue of illegal veterinary practitioners.

“There are many paraprofessionals in the system. They are not controlled. Now that we have put it under one law, we want the government to give us the support because it has to go through the Attorney General’s department and all that, so that the bureaucratic processes would be curtailed, in order for it to be done easily”.

In the wake of the outbreak of bird flu in many parts of the country, Dr. Jonathan Amakye-Anim wants all farmers to take biosecurity seriously.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, the PRO Vice Chancellor of KNUST, Prof. Ellis-Owusu Dabo called on the newly sworn-in doctors to uphold the tenets of the profession and play roles in tackling pandemics, particularly, those that are linked with animals.

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