FAO, UL trained 28 animal health workers on zoonotic disease management
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in collaboration with the William R. Tolbert Jr. College of Agriculture and Forestry of the University of Liberia trained 28 Community Animal Health Workers (CAHWs) on animal diseases recognition, investigation, and prevention measures.
According to a release from FAO-Liberia, participants of the training will work with the Ministry of Agriculture to accelerate response to potential zoonotic and non-zoonotic diseases across the country.
The release detailed that the training focused on topics including the recognition of priority zoonotic and non-zoonotic diseases, reporting suspected diseases to District Livestock Officers or Central Epic Unit as appropriate. Other topics discussed were disease outbreak investigation and response, vaccination, sample collection and treatment, and disease prevention.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID supported the training through the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) and the Emergency Center for Trans-boundary Animal Disease (ECTAD) of FAO spearheaded the three weeks training.
FAO Officer-in-Charge Dr. Jonathan Wesley Roberts said that the FAO-ECTAD/GHSA Program purpose is to help the government of Liberia develops needed animal health infrastructure and human capacity to control and manage zoonotic diseases.
“As part of the short-term support to elevate the animal health human resource capacity of the country and the needed service by the farmers, the GHSA project plans to train the Community Animal Health Workers as service providers to the community,” stated Dr. Roberts.
He said that CAHWs are the frontline animal health service providers to the Liberian communities and they play a crucial role in the animal disease surveillance and response system. CAHWs work on a voluntary basis to bridge the gap between animal farmers and surveillance officers.
Also, the Senior Advisor on the USAID-GHSA program in Liberia, Dr. Fatma Soud, used the occasion to remind Liberians about the Ebola outbreak, stating that disease outbreak does not respect borders and can spread. She reaffirmed her institution commitment to support the government.
Mr. Joseph Anderson, Chief Veterinary Officer at the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) who spoke on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture praised FAO for supporting the animal health delivery system of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Weade’s Kobbah Boley, Vice President of Administration at the University of Liberia expressed her admiration for the exercise. She said that the university will consider the training as part of their curriculum program within the College of Agriculture and Forestry.