Ahead of the National Convention of the Nigeria Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA), slated for Benin from October 25 to 29, the association has asked for recognition to enable it collaborate with other medical personnel in the fight against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
The association made the appeal yesterday when its leadership paid a courtesy call on the former national president, Dr Clement Alile in Benin City.
Acting National President of the Association, Dr Ibrahim Ado, who made the appeal, expressed regret that being experts in animals and their diseases, the association has not been carried along in the efforts to combat COVID-19.
He lamented Government indifference to the veterinary doctors, but pointed that with its over 9000 strength, the Association was still doing enough to deliver on its mandate.
“Veterinarians are noble professionals that stand out among others, sadly in the country, our roles as veterinarians are not duly recognised by the government.
“However, we are making conscious effort to let the public know who we are and what we do. We are pushing hard to see things are done the way they should be and our roles are not neglected.
“If you take a look at that current pandemic, the COVID-19 pandemic, we have veterinarians that are experts in COVID as far back as 40 to 50 years. But the people are just knowing of it with this pandemic.
“All the theory of the current pandemic is that it came from animal and we are authority in diseases of animals.
“So, we should be brought into the fold so that we all can collaborate and save humanity together”, Ado demanded.
Responding, Alile, a former Secretary to Edo State Government, who served as the President of NVMA from 1983 to 1985, noted that policy trust of the government among others, have not served as form of encouragement to the veterinarians.
He, however, advised that as a discipline body, the members must continue to do their best to lift humanity.
“Veterinary Doctors are very responsible and discipline people who will rather take these challenges as they come and attend to them”, he said.
Justifying the incessant strikes, especially by medical professionals, Alile urged the government not to always renege on its agreements with unionist or association.
“If government enters into any agreement, it must keep its own side of the agreement, this is where the problem always arise from”, he added.
The chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the October Convention, Dr Michael Ehizokhale, said the theme for the 57th annual convention in Edo is “The Veterinarian and Global Health Security”.
He said the convention would have as its chairman, Chief David Edibiri while Gov. Godwin Obaseki and Chief Gabriel Igbinedion would serve as Special Guest and Special Guest of Honour, respectively.