BY KEHINDE AKINPELU
44 graduands of veterinary medicine at the university of Ilorin were on Monday inducted by the Veterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN).
The Acting Registrar of VCN, Dr Nurallah Abubakar, conducted the induction of the new veterinary doctors at the university’s main auditorium in Ilorin, Kwara State.
Speaking at event, the President of VCN, Dr Aisha Baju, decried the dearth of veterinarians in Nigeria, saying that the development is dangerous for the healthcare delivery system in the country.
Baju, who was represented by Dr Nurallah Abubakar, lamented that VCN was one of the least funded federal agencies in Nigeria, urging the Federal Government to make further budgetary allocation to the council.
“There is dearth of veterinary doctors in most states in Nigeria. Because of this shortage, veterinary doctors cannot function in the cities themselves. I don’t know the statistics of veterinarians in Kwara State but most of the states I have been to, I discover that there is shortage of veterinary medical practitioners.
“We receive a lot of complaints about this menace that we have to mobilise and set up a pressure group to talk to the state governments. This is because many of the state governments do not know the importance of veterinarians when it comes to health,” Baju stated.
Earlier, the keynote speaker, who is also the President Commonwealth Veterinary Association (CVA), Dr Olatunji Nasir, had said human activities like encroachment into natural habitats of wildlife was responsible for some of the diseases ravaging the globe.
Nasir added that: “I appeal to government and professional associations like the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), and VCN, to sit up. There should be adequate recognition for veterinarians who are doing the gate keeping about danger inherent in consuming unwholesome meat.”
He recommended the increasing use of technology to let members of the public know the potential dangers that abound, adding that, “the increasing population of the world poses a danger to land use; monitoring of the activities of herders and cattle dealers to check contamination of rivers and streams in the country. Curtailment of consumption of wildlife.”
“Others are government’s improvement of vaccination strategies to prevent vaccines-preventable diseases and ministries of Agriculture at both state and federal levels should improve surveillance activities and this should be done with development partners as well as increased budgetary allocations for health and veterinary related interventions,” Nasir added.
In his brief remarks, the vice chancellor of the university of Ilorin, Prof AbdulWahab Egbewole, charged the new veterinary doctors to be of good conduct in their practice and good ambassadors of their alma mater.