KAMPALA, Uganda: Ugandan vets have been recognized for their contributions to the improvement of animal health and welfare globally. The animal doctors under their umbrella body, the Uganda Veterinary Association (UVA) won this years’ World Veterinary Day Award 2018.
The WVD is celebrated annually on the last Saturday of April to recognize the work of veterinarians around the world and their contributions to improving animal health and welfare and public health.
The UVA president, Dr. Sylvia Baluka said each year, the World Veterinary Association (WVA) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) organize the World Veterinary Day Award to reward the most successful contribution by the veterinary profession on the selected annual theme. “The theme for 2018, was “The role of the veterinary profession in sustainable development to improve livelihoods, food security and safety”, she said during at the UVA’s Annual General Assembly and symposium held at the Kabira Country Club in Kampala.
The speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon Rebecca Kadaga who was represented by Hon. Janet Akech Okorimoi, the Chairperson Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries called for more funding towards the sector.
“Veterinarians are responsible for the prevention and control of animal disease outbreaks, but they are not paid well, yet they meet many challenges,” she said.
The WVA also took the honor to hand over the Award officially to UVA.
Dr. Baluka said the award came along with a cheque of US$ 1,000 (Ugx3.7m).
She said the winning is a good indicator and commitment displayed by the Uganda Veterinary Association to promote the World Veterinary Day and to celebrate the veterinary profession together with farmers, political authorities, veterinary industry, and the general public. Through its activities, the UVA created awareness campaigns about the important role of veterinarians in sustainable development, food security, and safety. UVA prepared a number of press conferences, documentary TV, radio talk shows and a march giving visibility to the profession and 2018 WVD theme. UVA also organized open seminars on public health issues highlighting the importance of animal care and offered free surgeries, vaccinations, deworming consultations and farm-based training on “farm biosecurity and animal welfare”.
The acting Director Animal Resources warned the medics against intrigue and fighting others. “rise up to the challenges and see any challenges as opportunities. If you have not done anything to keep the situation better just keep quiet,” she said.
Adding: “Let’s stop pulling others down and pull others up, let’s make more friends than enemies. Why make enemies with those in health. You are not any greater, you are all working for Ugandans.”
She called for closer collaboration and leverage on the small resources.
“Let’s justify our existence as vets,” she said.
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