Veterinary physicians seek inclusion in fight against pandemic

The Nigeria Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) has asked to collaborate with other medical personnel in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The association made the appeal in Benin on Wednesday when its leadership paid a courtesy visit to the former national president, Clement Alile, ahead of the association’s national convention slated for Benin from October 25 to 29.

The acting national president of NVMA, Ibrahim Ado, who stated this, expressed regret that being experts in animals and its diseases, the association “had not been carried along in the efforts to combat the pandemic.”

Mr Ado, who also bemoaned the government’s indifference to veterinary doctors, noted that with its over 9,000-member strength, they were still doing enough to deliver on their mandate.

“Veterinarians are noble professionals that stand out among others. Sadly in the country, our roles as veterinarians are not duly recognised by the government.

“However, we are making conscious efforts to let the public know who we are and what we do. We are pushing hard to see (that) things are done the way they should be and our roles are not being neglected.

“If you take a look at the current pandemic, the COVID-19 pandemic, we have veterinarians that are experts on COVID as far back as 40 to 50 years. But the people are just knowing of it with this pandemic.

“All the theory of the current pandemic is that it came from animals and we are the authority in diseases of animals.

“So, we should be brought into the fold, so that we can all collaborate and save humanity together,” he said.

On his part, Mr Alile who served as the president of NVMA from 1983 to 1985, noted that the policy thrust of the government, among others, had not served to encourage veterinary physicians.

Mr Alile, a former secretary to the Edo State Government, however, said that as a disciplined body, the members must continue to do their best to lift humanity.

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“Veterinary doctors are very responsible and disciplined people who will rather take these challenges as they come and attend to them,” he said.


While justifying incessant strikes, especially by medical professionals, the septuagenarian urged the government not to always renege on agreements with unions or associations.

“If government enters into any agreement, it must keep its own side of the agreement, this is where the problem always arises from,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the October convention, Michael Ehizokhale, has announced the theme for the 57th annual convention in Edo as: “The veterinarian and global health security.”

He said the convention would have Governor Godwin Obaseki and Gabriel Igbinedion as special guest and special guest of honour, respectively.


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