Professor Raphael Folitse, Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), has appealed to the government to move quickly to give clearance for the employment of newly-qualified veterinary doctors.
This, he said, was necessary to avoid the risk of losing these trained professionals as they increasingly sought greener pastures abroad out of frustration.
“Already, some of them have started leaving. This is not because there are no jobs, but due to the fact that Ghana Health Service (GHS) has not been given the clearance to employ them.”
Prof Floitse, was addressing the third white coat ceremony of the school in Kumasi.
He said it was deeply troubling that majority of veterinary doctors, who graduated three years ago, remained unemployed, in spite of the fact that they had successfully completed the clinical phase of their training.
A total of 21 veterinary medicine students took part in the ceremony, ushering them into the clinical phase of their training – practical aspect of their education.
The School, Ghana’s foremost veterinary medicine training institution, was established in 2009 to augment veterinary medicine education and healthcare services.
This was necessitated by the nation’s high deficit of veterinary doctors.
According to the Veterinary Council of Ghana, there are only 32 certified veterinary doctors in active service currently – all of them trained abroad, East Europe and Cuba.
Prof Folitse said this did not paint a good picture of a nation where animal-borne infections and diseases had been threatening the health and safety of the people.
He indicated that about 70 per cent of all human diseases came from animals, adding that, recent outbreak of the deadly Ebola and avian flu diseases should be a wake-up call to everybody.
He said it was important the government stepped up the effort at strengthening veterinary healthcare and delivery to save the lives of the people.
Prof Folitse asked the students to take the practical aspect of their training seriously since it constituted a vital component of their training.