Ato Abay Woldu and Dr. Kindeya Uncovering the Memorial Stone
The College of Veterinary Medicine of Mekelle University held an International Conference entitled “Enhancing Economic Growth and Public Health through Livestock Development and One Health Approach” from May 8th to10th, 2014 in Mekelle, Ethiopia.
His Excellency Ato Abay Woldu, President of Tigray National Regional State, has delivered the opening speech to the Conference. After warmly welcoming the participants and guests to the Northern Star City of Ethiopia, Mekelle, he said that “It has been well-known that our country, Ethiopia, is endowed with huge livestock resources, which places it first in Africa and 10th in the world ranking. Despite the huge livestock resources we have and an encouraging beginning to develop the sector, it is still underutilized at the local, regional and national levels. The reasons are mainly lack of adequate institutional and technical supports, unimproved genetic makeup of local breed, low feed availability and feeding practices and underdeveloped marketing infrastructure.”
Dr. Kindeya G/Hiwot, President of Mekelle University, in his keynote speech made the following remark: “First of all, I Would like to welcome you to Mekelle. The livestock sector is contributing almost half of the agricultural GDP and more than 50% of the national GDP. The size of livestock’s contribution to agricultural GDP is the most commonly quoted single measurement of livestock’s role to the overall national economy, and it is the foundation of any overall assessment of the contribution of livestock to the national economy.”
Dr. Berihu Gebrekidan, Dean of College of Veterinary Medicine, extended kindly welcome to all the participants and said that “it is clear that the issue of livestock economics, Zoonotic diseases and food safety and quality are top priority areas of a nation seeking to boost its economic growth and safe- guard the public in this regard. Currently there is a critical need to bring politicians, policy makers, scientists and other stakeholders under one umbrella to discuss the issues.”
Among the participants were delegates of ministries, representatives of local and international organizations, researchers, expertise, related regional and federal bureau membersand the staff of Mekelle University. As an outcome, it is projected that the contribution of livestock for the improved livelihood of the people and Ethiopia’s economy will be enhanced and be embraced by policy makers and different stakeholders, best practices and experience of one health approach will be promoted and maximized. The platform for further collaboration will be created and the importance of animal production and their health ensures food security, food safety and public health.
The Participants Posed in front of the Conference Building for Posterity
At the end of the Conference, the participants inaugurated and visitedthe new buildings of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kalamino Campus. The College is well-organized for quality teaching-learning activities. The College is equipped with the state of the art computerized network and electronic Library, new ISO standard laboratories, laboratory animals unit, farms( dairy, fattening and sheep breeding ) Veterinary Teaching Hospital with surgical and imaging diagnosis machines, ultrasound graphic instrument, animal restraining unit or crush and in-patient wards .
Participants Touring a farm site of CVM, Kalamino Campus
Students and CVM Doctors in Ultrasound Graphic Laboratory
The College has two major responsibilities: research and community service and they are under Research and Community Service Council (RCSC) and the Veterinary Extension and Consultancy Center respectively . As part of the Growth and Transformation Plan of our country and the 20-Year Strategic Research Plan of MU, the College has identified the following thematic areas:
*Identification, prevention and control of major animal diseases that hamper international trade.
* Breed selection and reproductive biotechnology.
* Identification and control of important Zoonotic diseases.
*Quality Control of Veterinary Pharmaceuticals and biological products (e.g., vaccines, drugs).
* Animal feed improvement, development of best practices and animal husbandry technology
By Genet Kahsay, CCIA Senior Communication Expert