As part of its support for Nigeria’s health and food security, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), is empowering veterinarians through the In-Service Veterinary Epidemiology Training (ISAVET) to detect and control animal diseases, including zoonotic diseases, which also affect humans.
Speaking during the launch of the programme, on Monday in Abuja, Nigeria country representative, FAO, Mr. Fred Kafeero, said the goal of the ISAVET training program is to build capacity in field epidemiology in order to improve surveillance and response to health security threats.
He said “The innovative in-service training model allows for rapid translation of these benefits to the national veterinary services, so that the positive impacts on health security and food production will be felt in short order.
“ISAVET training for veterinary field officers contributes to the sustainable development of Nigeria, by building a highly skilled workforce to overcome critical threats at the interface between human, animal and environmental health.”
Kafeero stressed the Orgsnisation’s commitment to eliminating hunger and food insecurity through increased efficiency and sustainability of agriculture, forests and fisheries, thereby reducing rural poverty and increasing the resilience of agricultural livelihoods.
On his part, the permanent secretary,
Federal Ministry of Agriculture and rural Development, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, said the training 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.
He noted that controlling these diseases and limiting their impact is determined by the country’s ability to predict, detect and respond in a timely manner.
“Therefore, this training will equip public officers with the proper set of skills and competences required for managing emerging health emergencies in animals and humans,” he said while commending the FAO for initiating the programme.
He urged the trainees to put in your very best in order to enhance their capacity in animal disease prevention and control at the grassroot level and thus justify their inclusion into the programme.
The ISAVET training programme is being rolled out in 14 African countries under the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).