Robert Anane, GNA
Accra, Nov.9, GNA - The Ghana Veterinary Medical Association (GVMA), has declared its resolve to support President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s Ghana Beyond Aid vision.
“The Veterinary Profession needs to be part of the President’s agenda of building an economy that is not dependent on charity and handouts, but one that would look at the proper management of its resources, as the way to engineer social and economic growth,” Dr. Fenteng Danso, GVMA President stated.
Dr Danso who was speaking at the Association’s 44th Annual General Meeting and 22nd Congress in Accra, observed that over the years, veterinary professionals had significantly contributed towards the improvement of animal and human health and welfare, biomedical research, food quality, food safety, food security, disease prevention and control, pharmaceutical remedies and vaccines amongst many others.
Dr. Danso said whilst the fact that healthy and productive livestock made important contributions to food production, income generation, job creation, economic growth and poverty alleviation was often overlooked, livestock contributed some 5.3 per cent of agricultural Gross Domestic Product in Ghana.
He said veterinary professionals were crucial to the eradication of diseases, which could potentially result in epidemic, and affect both animals and humans.
“It has long been recognized that early response to animal diseases with the potential to result in epidemic, is of tremendous benefit for generations to come,” he told the meeting, which is being held under the theme; “Ghana Beyond Aid - The Role of Veterinarians”.
The GVMA President said “as partners in ensuring a Ghana Beyond Aid, veterinarians in collaboration with the Veterinary Service have put in place a National Strategic Pathway for the eradication of Pestes des Petitis Ruminante (PPR), which is considered the most deadly and important constraint to small ruminant production in Ghana by the year 2030”.
Dr. Danso said this would greatly contribute to poverty reduction and lead to wealth creation.
He said the Veterinary Services of Ghana, had the capacity to produce, “and indeed is producing” vaccines against major diseases that affected ruminants and poultry in the country, which saved the “huge” cost of importing foreign vaccines.
The Veterinary Services Department (VSD) has also recently with the help of the Ghana Poultry Project, come out with a National Vaccination Programme for poultry, to prevent avoidable outbreaks of poultry diseases.
“Indeed the VSD also has the human capacity to produce vaccines to other sister countries, to bring in the much needed foreign exchange for our development,” he said.
The GVMA President said the profession of veterinary medicine held the responsibility of safeguarding both animal and human health and the GVMA thus strived, to protect both animal and public health.
He said the GVMA encouraged all veterinarians and other animal health professionals, animal keepers and the public, to contribute to achieving the goals of Ghana Beyond Aid.
Dr. Danso expressed appreciation to the Minister of Food and Agriculture for getting financial clearance for the employment of new in-coming veterinarians and added that all junior veterinarians had been interviewed and the first batch issued with their appointment letters.
“It is our hope that the Minister would use his good office to fast track the issuance of appointment letters to the others who successfully went through the interviewing process,” he said.