Stephen Asante, GNA
Kumasi, Sept. 4, GNA – Efforts to improve
veterinary medicine in the country has received a boost with the induction of
eight newly-qualified veterinary doctors of the School of Veterinary Medicine,
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi.
This was at the Second Oath-Swearing and
Induction Ceremony of the School held under the auspices of the Veterinary
Council of Ghana (VCG).
The figure brings to 18 the total number of
veterinary doctors trained locally by the School since its establishment in
2009, a development considered to be a major breakthrough in a country facing
an acute shortage of veterinary doctors.
The Veterinary Services Directorate
estimates that Ghana currently has less than 50 veterinary doctors in active
service and the majority of them received their training abroad.
Professor Raphael Folitse, Dean of the
School, said it is appropriate that the nation invests massively in veterinary
education given the inadequacy of such professionals in the healthcare system.
With the upsurge in animal-related diseases
and meat consumption, he said such a project has become critical to produce the
needed expertise to advance cutting-edge veterinary research to improve human
He said the historical contributions of
veterinary research had been considerable, but its vital role in public health
and food safety had been brought into reality in the last two decades.
Prof Folitse said about 70 percent of
infectious diseases emanated from animals, explaining that given the emergence
and outbreaks of diseases such as avian influenza, Ebola, anthrax, amongst
others, the nation must not take chances.
“We must proffer comprehensive measures to
improve research on the prevention, control, diagnosis and treatment of these
diseases to engender public health through food safety”, he said.
He proposed to the University authorities to
strive to fashion out post-graduate scholarship programmes for brilliant
graduating veterinary doctors to upgrade their knowledge and competency.
This, the Dean stated, was necessary as the
beneficiary students could be enrolled to join the School’s faculty to improve
their staff strength.
Professor Kwasi Obiri-Danso, Vice-Chancellor
of the KNUST, in a speech read on his behalf, affirmed the institution’s
commitment to stay focused on its mandate of producing the critical human
resource base required for the health sector.
Professor Tsiri Agbenyega, Provost of the
KNUST College of Health Sciences, advised the veterinary doctors to maintain
high professional standards in their practice.