Don calls for resilient health institutions to tackle zoonotic diseases

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A lecturer with the Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University, Makurdi, Benue State, Dr Philomena Ikye-Tor, has called for the establishment of resilient health infrastructure, to curb the spread of zoonotic diseases.

The News Agency of Nigeria, reports that zoonotic diseases are infectious ailments that are transferable from animals to humans.

Ikye-Tor, who was the guest speaker during the celebration of World Zoonotic Day, an event organised by the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association and One Health, spoke on the theme, ‘Combating Zoonoses in Benue through a One Health Approach: The Role of All Stakeholders’.

She said that resilient health infrastructure would help in curbing the spread of zoonotic diseases, as humans or animals infected and diagnosed would be confined in the centre.

The lecturer further encouraged people to ensure regular vaccination of their livestock and pets against common zoonotic diseases, saying transmission could only be controlled if a holistic preventive approach was adopted for both humans and animals.

Meanwhile, the Chairman, Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association, Benue Chapter, Dr Andrew Amine, noted that the day was set aside by the World Health Organisation.

He explained that it was meant to bring to consciousness the achievements in research carried out by Louis Pasteur, in the administration of the first Vaccine against rabies in 1885.

According to the NVMA chairman, the infectious diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans, have been thoroughly researched, while preventive and treatment measures have also been outlined.

“The day recognises the interconnectivity of humans, animals and the environment. It also emphasises the need for collaboration between healthcare professionals, notably veterinarians, medical doctors and environmental scientists, to prevent and control zoonotic diseases.

“They are to monitor and detect zoonotic diseases early, develop effective preventive and control measures, thereby improving public awareness and education, to enhance research and development of diagnostic tools and treatment,” Amine said.

Also, the State Coordinator, One Health, Dr Jerry Agber, said the WHO had done a lot for Benue in addressing so many health challenges.

He, therefore, admonished veterinarians, health workers and other stakeholders, to protect the health of humans and animals for the overall well-being of society.

 

 

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