• Friday, June 14, 2024
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Anthrax: FG urged to declare emergency in animal health sector

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The Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) on Monday urged the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the animal health sector to nip anthrax and other zoonotic diseases in the bud.

Olutoyin Adetuberu, national president of the association made the call following the outbreak of anthrax in the West Africa sub-region of Northern Ghana bordering Burkina Faso and Togo and Niger states.

Anthrax is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis and affects both animal and man.

The bacteria which lives in the soil, usually infects wild and domestic animals, such as goats, cattle and sheep.

Signs and symptoms of anthrax which depends on how one is infected include, skin sores, vomiting and shock.

There has been a reported case of anthrax on a farm in Suleja, Niger State.

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Adetuberu specifically tasked the government on the vaccination of animals in the 17 border-states of anthrax outbreak.

She listed some of the border- states as, Adamawa, Borno, Taraba, in the southwest, Niger, Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti, Ebonyi and Cross River states bordering Cameroon.

She said the adjoining states bordering Niger Republic where vaccination should be carried out are Plateau, Gombe, Bauch and Sokoto.

Adetuberu called for massive employment of veterinary doctors across the country to ensure effective vaccination of animals and disease detection, prevention and control.

“If you want to protect lives and property which is the primary responsibility of government, you must employ veterinary doctors for disease detection, prevention and control,’’ she said.

Ifeanyi Ogbu, chairman, FCT chapter of NVMA urged the government to set up veterinary clinics at local government levels and employ veterinary doctors to fill up the clinics for easier accessibility and affordability of veterinary services.

“Many cannot afford private veterinary clinics because of charges, let there be government-owned veterinary clinics at the local government level for people to patronise.

“At the local level, we can pick up samples, report this disease and other diseases and safe this country.

“Any nation that waits until diseases attack its citizens is a failed state.’’ he said.