COVID-19: VCN develops protocol to curb infection among animal

The Veterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN) has developed a protocol targeted at reducing the man to animal infection of COVID-19.

The Protocol on COVID-19 Pandemic in Animals for Nigeria was presented to the public by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, who was represented by Dr Saleh Momale.

Speaking at the Presentation of the Protocol, the President of VCN, AIG Aishatu Baju, said the Council met about six months ago to partner with stakeholders to develop COVID-19 Protocol in Animals.

“Though research is still ongoing, it would appear that the virus that causes COVID-19 disease can spread from people to animals and vice versa. In realisation of this, the Council decided about six months ago, to partner with relevant stakeholders to develop a world-class COVID-19-19 Protocol in Animals; the outcome of which is being presented to stakeholders today for validation.

She said the protocol was designed to be a guide for animal owners who test positive for COVID-19, provide procedures for home care of animals with COVID-19, highlight high risk groups that need to avoid contact with COVID-19 infected animals as well as state the criteria for testing and re-testing positive animals among others.

“It is also intended to provide the current information on COVID-19 in animals and to highlight the direction of transmission between humans and animals based on available data and the zoonotic potential of the COVID-19 virus.

“I would like to add that, the Protocol has been adequately fine-tuned to meet international standards and best practices. This feat could not have been achieved without the supports and professional collaboration of our strategic partners,” she said.

She further noted that the pandemic has not only overstretched virtually all health platforms across the globe, but it has also literally brought the global health system and governments to their knees, unleashing, in the process, tales of panic and devastation.

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Explaining further, the Acting Registrar of VCN, Dr Ezenwa Nwakolobi, said: “the COVlD-19 protocol that has been produced by the VCN for Nigeria is against the background that health is a multidimensional issue, so it comes from human health perspective, it comes from animal health perspective and also environmental health perspective, and everyone of these sectors are meant to contribute their own quota in resolving health issues and challenges.”

He said the protocol would stipulate what needs to be done and what not to be done to ensure that first of all, the animals are protected and even if they get infected, it is managed within a population.

“For us in the Veterinary profession and animal health providers, what we are doing through this protocol is to provide guidelines on what should be done and what not to be done to ensure that first of all, our animals are protected from COVID-19 and also if our animals get infected, the infection is restricted within that population we will prevent it from jumping from animals to humans, the animal owners and the animal keepers.

“Ultimately, what we are doing is for human health through the provision of animal health,” Dr Nwakolobi said.


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