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COVID-19: Veterinarian raises concern over poor investment in veterinary medicine


Sep 8, 2021

As the Delta variant of COVID-19 keeps plaguing some parts of the world, a veterinarian based in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, Dr. Zarah Ibrahim, has expressed concern about poor investment in veterinary medicine to combat zoonotic diseases in Nigeria.

This is coming after the recent emergence of a new variant of the COVID-19 virus and the declaration of a third wave by the Federal Government.

The medical expert, who works with the Yobe State Government, in an interview noted that, developing infrastructure of veterinary clinics, equipping them with state-of-the-art facilities and building the capacity of veterinarians to meet challenges would assist in mitigating and controlling the cases of zoonosis in the country.

According to her, 75 percent of human diseases are zoonotic by nature out of which only about 25 percent are not communicable.

“This means infectious diseases can easily be transmitted just like the coronavirus pandemic.

“There were over 200 zoonotic diseases across the globe; including leprosy, COVID-19, tuberculosis, brucellosis, ebola, trypanosomiasis, river blindness, elephantiasis, anthrax, SARS and MERS,” she said.

She stressed that due to the complexity of human anatomy and physiology, it is cheaper and easier to deal with these diseases at the animal level before they are transmitted to humans.

“The involvement of veterinarians in policy formulation and implementation on zoonotic diseases is paramount”, she added.

“If veterinarians are adequately carried along, they will bring their knowledge and experience to bear in preventing zoonotic diseases”.

She charged government and community leaders to educate members of the public on safety measures in processing and consuming dairy products as causative agents of zoonosis was viral, fungal and bacterial, adding that the mode of their transmission included oral, aerosol, direct contact and sex.

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