Veterinary doctors urge Lagos govt to employ more hands to end quackery
From right, Ms Abisola Olusanya, Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mrs Olatokunbo Emokpae, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Dr Tayo Aniagboso, CEO, Paws and Claws Vet Clinic, Surulere during the stakeholders forum with Operators of private veterinary premises in Lagos
Dr Olatunji Nasir, the President Commonwealth Veterinary Association (CVA), has urged the Lagos State Government to employ more veterinarians to address the increasing rate of quackery in the sector.
Nasir also the Chief Executive Officer, Truthmiles Vet Hospital, Lagos, made the plea at a Stakeholders’ Engagement Forum with operators of private veterinary premises on Tuesday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the forum was organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture to enlighten veterinary doctors, animal health technologists, pet owners, private pet operators and other stakeholders in the animal health ecosystem.
Nasir in a lecture titled “Towards a Better Veterinary Healthcare Services Delivery in Lagos State”, said that the number of veterinarians in Lagos was below the population of the state.
He disclosed that there were less than 30 veterinary doctors under the Lagos State Government employment.
He said that figures from the Lagos State Veterinary Premises Regulatory Committee showed that there were 178 vet premises, seven animal hospital, 49 vet clinics, 87 vet pharmacies, 11 vet pharmaceutical company and 24 Petmarts.
He, however, expressed worry over lack of monitoring of activities of quacks in the poultry, livestock markets and fish farms to check quackery and food safety.
He said that quackery had been on since the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuriesy adding that it had remained rampant in the medical field.
According to him, one way or the other, the quacks are taken over and it is because the professionals themselves have left the vacuum.
“Nature abhors vacuum, that is why we still have quacks gripping us today.
“The effects of quackery include avoidable animal death, economic loss, disability and lack of animal welfare strategy, among others,” he said.
He said that there was a great concern over the increasing use of antibiotics such as tetracycline and others among poultry and livestock sellers in the market.
Nasir noted that their activities posed a great health challenge to humans.
“State government should establish a regulatory and accreditation agency in the Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA) in the agriculture ministry.
“State government to improve the veterinary regulatory environment, concentrate on practice health rather than revenue, enforce prescribed standards including human capital sources and state committee should go beyond mere premises registration to overall evaluation of the ecosystem.
“Veterinary doctors should increase their capacity to better service delivery, subject themselves to periodic audit by regulatory authorities and cease over exposure of non- professionals to medical procedures and technical duties.
“Owners of pets should patronise registered veterinarians, stop demanding services from non-veterinary professionals,” he said.
Ms Abisola Olusanya, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, said that the state government was poised to meeting national international standards for effective delivery of veterinary medicine order to ensure the promotion of healthy environment a general wellbeing.
She noted that the practice veterinary premises and veterinary medicine supply must be registered, as ignorance of the law is an excuse for veterinary operations in an unhealthy environment void of the suitable storage and supply of veterinary medicines.
She re-emphasised that the operation of private veterinary premises governed and regulated by extant laws that must be adhered to Strictly.
“It is not just enough to have a fixed address; other standards practices must be upheld according to national and international best practices of veterinary medicine.
“Hazardous contamination must be prevented in our veterinary premises.
“This means that private veterinary medicine storage areas must be separated from food and drinks meant for human consumption and toilet contamination, she noted.
The commissioner noted that the state government would soon introduce a policy framework would place it ahead of other states in terms of food policies.
She noted that the ministry had engaged a consulting firm to help develop a framework on everything related to food in the state.
She added that the document was awaiting approval of the state House of Assembly.
“We have the food system transformation policy which have embedded all other policies for proper harmonisation to bring the policies up to date.
“We are hoping to take it before the house of Assembly and the Ministry of Justice as soon as the law commission gives us the go ahead.
“The state government is working toward increasing the number of veterinary doctors in the state.
“We have made recommendations in that regard and nothing should stop Lagos from having more than 500 veterinaries,” she said.
Olusanya urged the veterinarians to improve their performance and quality of service.
She added that the veterinary council need to do more to end quackery in the country.
Olusanya said that veterinarians were not given due regards due to lack of coordination in the profession.
”The regards and respect is not be given to the veterinary doctors because of lack of coordination within the profession.
“Animals are therapeutics especially dogs and cats, our veterinary needs to be promoting this to the public,” she said.
Mrs Olatokunbo Emokpae, Permanent Secretary in the ministry said the veterinary sphere was a very delicate and important one and forms a critical part of the one-world, one-health tripod of human, animal and environmental health.
“It is against this crux that we are here today to discus urgent actions we need to take to end quackery in the veterinary health care service in Lagos state.
“This stakeholders’ engagement forum would no doubt bring out the much desire positive feedback interplay in terms of veterinary diseases reportage, epidemiological data collection, practice standards setting and upholding of recuired benchmark level of operations.
“The expected outcome will be a better regulated private veterinary operation in Lagos state in line with set practice standards of Veterinary Council of Nigeria.
Other stakeholders at the forum include Dr Tayo Aniagboso, CEO, Paws and Claws Vet Clinic, Surulere, Mr Ayodele Bright, President, National Association of Animal Health Technology, Dr Kunle Abiade, President, Small Animal Veterinary Association.