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Health News of Thursday, 15 October 2015

Source: Daily Guide

Veterinary service cries for support

Some veterinary students Some veterinary students

The Dean of Veterinary Medicine, College of Basic and Applied Sciences, University of Ghana (UG), Prof Paa Kobina Turkson, has made a passionate appeal to the government to support the veterinary service department.

Prof Turkson made the call on Saturday in Accra in an interview with the media on the sidelines of the third white coat ceremony of the School of Veterinary Medicine, UG.

The ceremony marked the official transition from pre-clinical to clinical training of some 14 veterinary students.

According to him, the service lacks the requisite support to carry out its core functions.

This, he lamented, had virtually brought the service on its knees, making it difficult for professional veterinarians to visit homes nationwide to vaccinate animals free-of-charge as they used to do in the early 90s.

Rabies Cases Rise

The end result, Prof Turkson claimed, has been a sharp rise in the reported cases of rabies in dogs across the country over the last three years, leading to the death of some innocent individuals, mostly children.

This, he noted, “Is because dogs and other animals like cats nationwide are no longer being vaccinated to prevent them from contracting such ailments.”

Poor Attitude

According to him, “Our attitude towards rearing of animals is not helpful. We look at it that animals are there basically to support us but we invariably sometimes do not want to support the animals by looking after them; sending them to the veterinarian when they (animals) are sick or even feeding them well. And this can sometimes lead to us not having respect and not having the will even to be helping these animals.”

Earlier, Prof Turkson indicated that the white coat ceremony “is now an activity of the School of Veterinary Medicine as an important concept for introducing students to the veterinary profession.”

According to him, the aim is to emphasize the importance of the students’ commitment to excellence in the art and science of veterinary medical practical practice.

Meanwhile, Dr Sherry Johnson, a senior lecturer at the School of Veterinary Medicine, also bemoaned that from 1997, there has been no sponsorship to the veterinary service which hitherto enabled them to conduct free vaccination for animals like dogs and cats.