The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has presented assorted laboratory equipment, reagents and consumables to aid the Veterinary Services Department (VSD) in effectively preventing, diagnosing and managing diseases in animals to prevent public health threats.
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture received the large quantity of items, valued at more than $ 70, 000, on behalf of the Department.
They comprise a Compound binocular microscope, fluorescence microscope, stereo dissecting microscope, slide dryer, portable digital thermometer, analytical balance, hematocrit centrifuge, hematocrit reader, rocking platform laboratory oven, vertical autoclave; 80L and a desktop computer for data management.
Mr Serge Nakouzi, the Deputy Representative for Africa, FAO presenting the items, said the batch of equipment included very essential and high value Veterinary laboratory equipment, which were not included in the last presentation.
In February, 2018 the FAO donated made the previous donation to the Department.
Mr Nakouzi explained that the ability of Veterinary diagnosis laboratories to detect and characterise infectious disease pathogens was critical for effective and timely prevention and management of animal and public health threats.
He said this capacity was too often constrained by lack of skilled personnel, accurate and consistent laboratory methods, quick data exchange systems and essential laboratory equipment and consumables.
To overcome these challenges hindering the timely detection of infectious diseases in Veterinary laboratories, the FAO has been providing support to strengthen the diagnostic capacity of the veterinary laboratories in Accra and in selected districts.
The FAO is also building the skills of the Veterinary workforce to improve diagnosis techniques.
Mr Nakouzi said the FAO was committed to the implementation of activities focused on workforce development and the provision of supplies to Veterinary laboratories to enable Ghana to comply with standards of the International Health Regulations and the World Organisation for Animal Health.
He commended the United States Agency for International Development for its continuous financial support under the Global Health Security Agenda programme for the procurement of the Veterinary equipment.
Dr Gyiele Nurah, the Minister of State in Charge of Agriculture, who received the items, said the FAO had always provided technical assistance to the VSD in crucial times.
He said the Government was conscious of the immense potential of the livestock and poultry sub-sector to the creation of sustainable jobs and ensuring family food and nutritional security.
He said many of the Veterinary laboratories urgently need these items.
He, therefore, commended the FAO and its partners for the invaluable support.