The Veterinary Council of Ghana has appealed to the government to resource the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) School of Veterinary Medicine, to improve its infrastructure and faculty to advance veterinary training, research and healthcare delivery.
Dr. Jonathan Amakye-Anim, Chairman of the Council, said this was urgent since the country currently had only 32 certified practicing veterinary doctors.
He said at least 200 of such practitioners were needed to enhance effective veterinary care for the benefit of the nation.
Dr. Amakye-Anim, who was addressing an oath-swearing and induction ceremony for the School of Medical Sciences, Dental School and the School of Veterinary Medicine of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, called for a change in attitude towards veterinary education.
“About 70 per cent of all human diseases emanates from animals”, he noted, stressing that given the current shortage of veterinary doctors, it would be difficult for the country to effectively deal with the emerging challenges such as the outbreak of more sophisticated animal-related diseases.
The ceremony was held under the joint supervision of the Ghana Medical and Dental Council and Veterinary Council of Ghana, and had a total of 241 newly-qualified doctors taking the Hippocratic Oath.
This included 29 dentists and seven veterinary doctors.
Dr. Andrew Bremang of the School of Veterinary Medicine swept a total of ten awards, including the ‘Dr. William Blankson Amanfu Prize for the Best Student in Infectious Diseases’, ‘Dr. Andrew Quarcoopome Prize for the Overall Best Student in the DVM programme’, and ‘Dean’s Prize for the Overall Best Student in the DVM Programme’.
Other award-winners were Dr. Obed Owusu Yeboah, also a veterinary doctor, who received a total of nine awards, as well as Dr. Abigail Omani and Dr. Boniface Mensah, both of the School of Medical Sciences, who claimed four prizes each.
The School of Veterinary Medicine, since its establishment in 2009, had so far trained 25 veterinary doctors.
This brings to about 1, 500, the number of medical, dental and veterinary doctors trained by the KNUST in the last three decades.
Hitherto, the majority of veterinary practitioners received their training abroad which came with its own cost to the nation.
Dr. Amakye-Anim proposed a ‘One District, One Veterinary Doctor’ concept for the nation, explaining that, this was the only way “we could ensure the safety and health of the citizenry”.
Professor Kwasi Obiri-Danso, Vice-Chancellor of the University, charged the graduating doctors to avoid practices that compromised on their professional ethics. Professor Tsiri Agbenyega, Provost of the College of Health Sciences, affirmed their resolve to work assiduously to address the health manpower needs of the nation.