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Globalisation breaks international barriers for diseases, IBE

NATIONAL President of Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA), Dr. Charles C. Ibe has said globalisation has made diseases moved with ease owing to breakdown of international geo-political barriers, even as he explained that 60 per cent of known infectious diseases are common to human and animals, while 75 per cent of recent emerging and re-emerging human diseases has strong link with animals and 80 per cent of the pathogens that could potentially be used in bioterrorism are zoonotic.

Ibe in a keynote address at this year’s 2010 World Veterinary Day, read by Dr. Olukayode Oyeleye, Ibe also said that less animal protein in human ecosystem leads to marasmus or kwashiorkor. He also called  for more structures to be put in place to enhance more cooperation between physicians and veterinarians.
He said all the areas of interface between animal and human health must be explored for disease surveillance, prevention, treatment and eradication.
He called for a review of global order in intervention of zoonotic and livestock diseases to be moderated by United Nations and on the local scene, he advocated the following:

*Upgrade of the veterinary facilities in the country to be in line with modern interventions. Each state should have one Federal Government fully equipped veterinary hospital with state of art facilities; all substandard veterinary facilities should be closed down; all obsolete legislative documents for veterinary practice and animal diseases control should be reviewed; establishment of One Health Commission or Centre for Diseases Control is long overdue.

Dr. Oyeleye, in his own comments, said the time has come for the harmonisation of the practice of veterinary medicine and human medicine for the sake of health care delivery to human beings.

He said: “We must be able to harmonise the practice of veterinary medicine as well as human medicine for the benefit of human health. On the international level, there are platforms for information sharing between veterinarians and physicians, but that platforms have not been really well utilised in this country. It is time therefore for us to begin to sit and examine together the problems of human health and the assign roles as deemed fit to each branch of medicine and the roles should be performed by those who are best suited to perform them.”

Explaining further why there should be a platform for information sharing between veterinarians and physicians.
According to Oyeleye, while it is safe to eat an egg per day by anybody irrespective of age, according to nutritionists, the physicians objected to it because of the erroneous claim of cholesterol scare which, it was said, could lead to heart diseases.

“But this is a gross misinformation. There are two types of cholesterols which are high density lypo-protein and low density lypo-protein. The low density lypo-protein is the bad cholesterol that can lead to heart disease, while the high density lypo-protein is the good or healthy cholesterol which so many people need and it is abundatly found in egg. The mere mention of cholesterol should not scare people. There is need to clarify and know which category we are talking about.

“We owe the public right and proper information, to enable them take rational decision on what to eat.”
We will not be doing them any good by keeping helpful information from them, confusing them by distorting information, or making subjective judgment on their behalf without giving them the opportunity of understanding why they took such decisions.

This is one of the reasons why veterinarians and physicians need to work together for the good of mankind, lest we continue to confuse the public and antagonise ourselves before the public.”

He, nevertheless, called on those involved in animal production to conform to best production and processing services. He urged them not to slaughter sick animals so as to avoid the transfer of such diseases to human beings and also avoid handling animal protein (milk, meat and eggs) in ways that can predispose them to infections and sicknesses.


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