FAO in Ghana

Ghana’s Veterinary Services receives high value laboratory equipment to enhance its effort in complying with standards of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the International Health Regulations (IHR).

Mr. Nakouzi hands over the equipment to the Minister Hon. Dr. Gyiele Nurah

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO, has donated veterinary Laboratory equipment and consumables worth more than seventy thousand United state Dollars to the veterinary Service directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture of Ghana. 

The items which include, Compound binoculars microscope, Fluorescence Microscope, Stereo Dissecting Microscope, Slide dryer, Portable digital thermometer, Analytical balance, Hematocrit centrifuge, the rest are Hematocrit Reader, Rocking platform 1 pc, Laboratory oven 1 pc, Vertical autoclave, 80L and Desktop computer for data management is to reinforce the veterinary laboratory diagnostic capacity in Ghana.

Presenting the items to the ministry, the FAO Deputy Regional Representative for Africa Serge Nakouzi said, the ability of veterinary diagnostic laboratories to detect and characterize infectious disease pathogens is critical for effective and timely prevention and management of animal and public health threats.

“This capability is too often constrained by lack of skilled personnel, accurate and consistent laboratory methods, quick data exchange systems and essential laboratory equipment and consumables.” He added.

Mr. Nakouzi reiterated FAO’s commitment to the implementation of activities focused on the workforce development and provision of supplies to veterinary laboratories so that the country can comply with the standards of the International Health Regulations (IHR, 2005) and that of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

On his part the Minister of state in charge of Agriculture Hon. Dr. Gyiele Nurah was grateful to the FAO for its continues support to the Agriculture sector of Ghana.

The Minister said “The FAO has always provided technical assistance to the Veterinary Services Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in Ghana in crucial times of need and again this time just as the country is battling with a number of animal diseases which are militating against the improvement of the livestock subsector thereby limiting its contribution to the national economy”.

FAO’s support

FAO has been providing support to strengthen the diagnostic capacity of the veterinary laboratories in in Ghana through its Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Disease (ECTAD) with the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This support includes:

•             Training of two veterinary staff from the Accra Veterinary Laboratory on molecular detection in viral diseases at the FAO/OIE Reference Laboratory for Avian influenza and Newcastle Disease in Padova, Italy (May 2018). 

•             Training of 16 field and laboratory staff of VSD on  advanced techniques in sample collection, transport and storage for priority zoonotic diseases in the country (September 2018).

•             On-site training on biosafety and biosecurity including hands-on biosafety cabinet handling was conducted for 14 staff of the Accra Veterinary Laboratory plus two visiting laboratorians from Uganda (April 2018).

•             For the purpose of international transport of biological samples from Ghana to reference laboratories abroad, seven veterinary laboratory personnel from Ghana were among the participants from Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Gambia who were trained and certified in transport of infectious substances in accordance with the guidelines and regulations of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) (November 2018).