State Department for Livestock Principal Secretary Harry Kimtai has called upon animal health officials across the country to embrace one health approach in controlling emerging diseases.
The PS made the call at Kenya School of Government (KSG), Baringo campus, during closing ceremony of a month-long training of animal health professionals drawn from 25 ASAL counties who were undertaking an In – Service Applied Veterinary Epidemiology Training (ISAVET) programme organised by directorate of veterinary services in collaboration with Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).
Kimtai noted that there are emerging risks which frontlines in the livestock sector need to team up after experiencing some lessons from recent pandemics like Covid -19 that has crumbled many economies across the world.
“We are used to zoonotic diseases but Covid 19 has come with a lot of lessons that we must learn very quickly so that we can overcome such challenges in the future,” he stated.
Kimtai accompanied by Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) Regional Manager Dr Charles Bebay expressed the need for investing in surveillance systems and contingency planning to safeguard the sector which is crucial to the lifeline of many households in the country.
The Livestock PS called on all officers at their workstation to plan early for upcoming disasters that are likely to affect both the animals and human beings.
“Many of our pastoralist communities suffer because we do not plan early on how best to assist them tackle some of the challenges they face like drought and outbreak of diseases,” he pointed out.
He expressed optimism that the training being implemented in other 17 African countries will yield skillful and knowledgeable officers who can also advise farmers on best management practices.
Dr Bebay in his remarks challenged the trainees to make an impactful meaning by effectively tackling health related issues in the community level and also extend the knowledge gained to other officials and farmers to support the growth of the department.
Dr Paul Ayieko, a Senior Veterinary Officer, in the department of livestock development instructed the animal health officials to make use of laboratories for confirming investigation diagnosis in order to give accurate reporting.
By Benson Kelio and Joshua Kibet