The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) is to empower veterinarians to detect and control animal diseases.
Mr Fred Kafeero FAO Country Representative in Nigeria said this at the launch of the Emergency Centre for Trans boundary Animal Diseases ECTAD, In-Service Veterinary Epidemiology Training ISAVET training Progranme in the country on Monday in Abuja.
He said that the empowerment is part of its technical support to the Federal Republic of Government.
He said that the empowerment would be through ECTAD by the ISAVET.
Kafeero said that the veterinarians would be able to detect and control animal diseases, including zoonotic diseases, which also affect humans.
He said that the ISAVET training programme was being rolled out in 14 African countries under the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
He said that the goal of the ISAVET training programme is to build capacity in field epidemiology in order to improve surveillance and response to health security threats.
He said that the innovative in-service training model allowed for rapid translation of benefits to the national veterinary services.
FAO representative added that this would allow the positive impacts on health security and food production to be felt in short time.
According to him, ISAVET training for veterinary field officers contributes to the sustainable development of Nigeria.
This, he said is by building a highly skilled workforce to overcome critical threats at the interface between human, animal and environmental health.
Dr Ernest Umakhine, the Permanent Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said ISAVET programme is aimed at improving the abilities of veterinarians and other animal health workers.
This, according to him is to predict, prepare, prevent, respond and recover from critical health threats affecting humans and animals at the human-animal-environmental interface.
He said that it could not have come at a better time than now, considering the emergence and re-emergence of diseases of significant public health and socioeconomic importance.
This include: Avian Influenza (bird flu), Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), African Swine Fever (ASF), Rabies and Ebola, to mention but a few.
According to him, controlling these diseases and limiting their impact is determined by our ability as a nation to predict, detect and respond in a timely manner.
He said that the training would equip public officers with the proper set of skills and competencies required for managing emerging health emergencies in animals and humans. (NAN)