Professor Rapheal Folitse, a veterinary expert, has underscored the need to test meats in slaughterhouses for antibiotic residues to ensure safe consumption.
The Founding Dean of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Veterinary School of Medicine highlighted the alarming issue of antibiotic overuse in livestock farming by unqualified individuals, emphasizing the risk of developing antibiotic-resistant bacteria that poses threat to the effectiveness of crucial medications.
Prof Folitse spoke to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at the 24th Congress and 49th Annual General Meeting of the Ghana Veterinary Medical Association (GVMA) in Accra today, November 23, 2023.
‘Most often when animals are sick, and then people are treating these animals, mostly with unqualified people, they pump antibiotics upon antibiotics into them, and when they realize that the animal will not recover, they just sell those sick animals and immediately, the butchers take them to the slaughterhouse, meanwhile, the
antibiotics that are within the animals will remain in their meat, even when it is cooked…’
He warned amid growing concerns about the global antibiotic resistance to serve as a wakeup call for both consumers and industry.
‘…Scientists have done research and realised that the way the antibiotic abuse is going, if nothing is done to stop it, by the year 2050, a lot of the pathogens or germs will get used to all the antibiotics in such a way that when somebody is sick nothing can be done to cure them.’
He stressed the importance of rigorous testing and monitoring along the entire meat production chain to ensure that antibiotic residues were within safe limits.
‘How can we test to ensure that meat at the slaughterhouses is free from antibiotic residues? It’s a matter of utmost importance.’
He warned against the unmonitored interaction between animals and humans in live markets across the country particularly in cattle, sheep, and goat markets, raising concerns about potential health risks for both humans and
‘When you see the sellers and the buyers moving around with the animals, touching them and examining them, if there is a disease that can be passed on from animals, the human beings will easy get it…’
He said to ensure the well-being of animals, humans, and the environment, collaboration among responsible sectors was imperative.
This approach, known as One Health, emphasized the collective effort of multiple sectors working together for the common goal of fostering health in humans, animals, and the environment, he noted.
He said ‘For instance, when we recently had the COVID 19 outbreak, the animal health sector was also helping in diagnosing the disease in human beings and then you saw how the environmental people were going round spraying places.
The Minister of Information was also trying to educate the public and then the human health sector also, vaccinating human beings, that is the working together to ensure that we have healthy animals, healthy human beings and our environment is healthy
The GVMA meeting brought together stakeholders to take stock and reflect on its work and activities for the year and to chart a way forward for the coming year in the changing dynamics of animal health in the context of the one health concept.
It was on the theme: ‘One Health Zoonoses Control in Ghana’ Repositioning Veterinary Services for Maximum Impact seeks to reposition the veterinary services to be able to respond to all disease situations proactively and adequately.
Source: Ghana News Agency