Isaak Sheik Mohammad
Dean, College of School of Veterinary Medicine
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Veterinary medicine is medical science that deals with the study, prevention, treatment of disease, the management of animal well-being, productivity of animals used for production of fiber and human food not only domesticated animals but also wild animals and animals used scientific research. The word veterinary comes from the latin word ’veterinae’ which means “working animal”.
Veterinary medicines are used to improve or maintain the health of animal species regardless of whether these are intended for food production or not. They are designed and manufactured to cover a wide variety of prophylactic and therapeutic purpose, and they are administrated to household pets, exotic species, and wild animal in addition to food producing animal.
It provides a foundation for the medical care of livestock and pets (companion animals); for the efficient and safe use of animals as research models and agents from improving human health; for understanding animals as sentinels of disease and toxic threats and as signals of ecological change; for wildlife conservation; and for supporting the lives and welfare of animals in captive environment. The veterinary medical profession leads the world in developing a medical and scientific understanding of animals that support society desire to care for and derive benefit from them.
Doctors of Veterinary Medicine (Veterinarians) are medical professionals whose primary responsibility is protecting the health and welfare of animals and people. They diagnose and control animal diseases, treat sick and injured animals, prevent the transmission of animal diseases (“zoonoses”) to people, and advise owners on proper care of livestock and pets. They ensure a safe food supply by maintaining the health of food animals. Veterinarians are also involved in wildlife preservation and conservation and public health of the human population. They often are the first line of defense for zoonotic diseases as well as for various toxicants that occur naturally or by intentional terrorist attack. Veterinarians are in contact with a wide variety of domestic and free-ranging animals, effective and efficient diagnostic systems, and local and national regulatory systems for animal health, food safety, and public health (Osburnet al., 2009). Besides the role of veterinarians to control zoonotic diseases, a more integrated approach would identify the factors that promote infectious disease emergence as well as non-infectious diseases.
Nearly 75 percent of all new, emerging, or re-emerging diseases affecting humans have zoonotic nature. The severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-corona virus (MERS-CoV), and the 2013/14 Ebola outbreak in West Africa are some of the notable reminders of how vulnerable the increasingly interconnected world is to new emerging zoonotic diseases. The speed at which zoonotic diseases increasingly emerge and spread presents serious public health, economic, and development concerns. It also underscores the need for the development of comprehensive disease detection and response capacities, particularly in “hotspot” regions where a confluence of risk factors increase the risk of zoonotic disease emergence. A large share of rural households depends on livestock for their livelihoods. Therefore, the provision of veterinary services is a key component to the success for the protection of both human and animal life threatening diseases.
2 RATIONALE OF THE PROGRAM
The diverse agroecology and agronomic practice of Ethiopia enables to produce and endorse the huge livestock population in Africa and also in the world. Livestock is an integral part of the agriculture and the contribution of live animals and their products to the agricultural economy accounts for 40% and in the national economy as it contributes 13-16 percent of the total GDP excluding the values of draught power, manure and transport of people and products ( Winrock International, 1992). Livestock serve for Ethiopian economy as sources of food, traction, manure, raw materials, investment, cash income, security, foreign exchange earnings and social and cultural identity (FAO, 2012). Ethiopia holds the largest livestock population in Africa estimated at about the national herd comprises 60 million cattle, 30 million sheep and 23 million goats, and 57 million chicken, 1 million camels, more than 8 million equines and an small number of pigs and 4.9 million beehives (CSA, 2017). From the above livestock population in Ethiopia, Somali Region alone owns 965,914 camel, 7,000,535 cattle, 15,562,947 sheep, 17,118,349 goat and 232,752 poultry (CSA, 2017). Ethiopia is also home of wide variety of wild animals of which unique and endemic species like the Wallia ibex, Cheleda babon, Red fox etc. are available in the country (Melaku, 2011).
Despite large population size the contribution of livestock production to agriculture and the overall economy of the country is low. Along the various factors constraining livestock development (including diseases, inadequate resources, lack of advances in Life Science and Technology, suitable institutions and technological problems), inappropriate development policies are becoming major factors of the poor performance of the sector (FAO, 2019).
The Ethiopian population will grow from present 102 to almost 190 million in the next three decades, out of which 76 million people will live in cities and towns vis-à-vis 19 million today.
Per capita national income, currently at USD 767 per year, will almost double by 2050. These changes will trigger consumption for all livestock products to increase tremendously: between
2015 and 2050 demand for milk and beef is estimated to grow by about 5.5 million tones and 0.9 million tones or 145 and 257 percent increase, respectively, with similar or higher growth rates for demand of other animal source foods. The livestock sector will radically transform to respond to the increasing demands (FAO, 2019).
Animal disease is one of the constraints of livestock productivity which is directly reflected to the livelihood of Ethiopian farmers. Diseases of various origins (parasites, bacterial, viral, fungal, and other non-infectious agents) are prevailing in Ethiopia responsible for poor production and productivity of livestock. Several diseases prevalent in Ethiopia are notifiably influencing international trade and movement of animals, animal products and by-products.
Among the epidemic diseases Renderpest is under control and eradicated after decades of vaccination and monitoring. Many others are still not controlled, and are causing devastating effect both to producers and to the national economy.
Ethiopian veterinary education is currently expanding and at developing stage. The government considered the profession is critical that need to be fulfilled both internal and external quality assurance to meet domestic needs (establishing a reliable and high-quality veterinary education) and for the consequent global implications: permitting Ethiopia to reliably monitor and control animal diseases and thus become a trustworthy exporter of animal and animal products. Accordingly, many proclamations regarding the animal health services, export of animal (products) were and are introduced enabling improved productivity and safe guard the public from diseases of animal origin (Proclamation No. 4/1995; Proclamation No. 267/2002; Council of Ministers Regulation preamble, 2002). A functioning system of animal health control and care organized at universities, regional clinics, and federal authority, is clearly of major economic importance, especially in relation to international trade requirements. So, the country needs to have competency based Veterinary education offering Universities to produce a graduate with sound knowledge, skill and attitude and due to this, Kabridahar University decides to be one of these Universities that produce DVM equipped with education, knowledge, skill and attitude in 22/10/2013 E.C.
3 SCHOOL MISSION AND VISION
3.1 SVM Mission
The mission of the school is to prepare individuals for careers of excellence in veterinary medicine, including private and public practice, industrial medicine, academics, and research. The school will provide programs of instruction, research, outreach, and service that are in the best interests of the citizens of the zone, the region, the nation, and the world.
3.2 SVM Vision
The school will be recognized nationally and internationally as a preeminent comprehensive school of veterinary medicine, a national resource in veterinary medical education, a preferred provider of veterinary medical care in the region, and the home of a scholarly research enterprise that drives discovery and innovation. Successful pursuit of the school’s mission will advance the health of animals, people, and the environment. The school will promote and advance Kabridahar University’s reputation through a culture of accountability, efficiency, innovation, and a commitment to quality in every aspect of its mission.