Veterinarians in Akwa Ibom State under the umbrella of the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA), Akwa Ibom chapter, trooped out on 22nd of April, 2020 to join in the fight against the corona virus pandemic by embarking on a state-wide fumigation of public places in the state.
Speaking at the commencement of the exercise, the State Director of Veterinary Services, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Sufficiency, Dr Obot Obot stated that veterinarians in the state have observed with keen interest the recent outbreak of the pandemic, and lauded the efforts of the state government in providing state-of-the-art isolation centers for suspected individuals, as well as giving of different palliatives to the Akwa Ibomites, to cushion the effect of the lockdown on the citizenry. He also noted that as professionals with indepth training and knowledge of infectious disease patterns, spread and transmission, the veterinarians are better positioned as frontline actors and contributors in the prevention and control of COVID-19; hence they embarked on the fumigation exercise to disinfect high-risk places and areas where essential services are still ongoing.
In his remarks, the state chairman of the NVMA Akwa Ibom Chapter, Dr Ntuen Ofonmbuk, harped on the need for interdisciplinary collaborative efforts between health personnel in the prevention of emerging diseases such as COVID-19. He highlighted the different roles played by veterinarians to include food safety by ensuring that only wholesome meat are presented for sale to the public, as well as diagnosis and treatment of animal diseases which in turn promotes nutritional security and public health. He reiterated the association’s commitment and readiness to continue contributing her quota to ensure food sufficiency in the state, and safeguard public health.
The fumigation exercise which began on 22nd of April, 2020 witnessed unprecedented massive turnout of veterinarians well kitted in personal protective equipment (PPEs) to disinfect all ATM points and Bank premises, beginning from the Udo Udoma Industrial Layout to other areas in Uyo, the state capital. April 23rd 2020 witnessed another massive fumigation of public places in Ikot Ekpene such as the central abattoir, banks, ATM points and markets.