|A veterinary worker (right) advises residents in Ha Noi's Ung Hoa District on poultry disease prevention. . The capital will conduct training courses to raise veterinary workers' professional skills. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue
HA NOI (VNS) — The city's Department of Animal Health is organising courses to help poorly trained veterinary workers improve their skills in caring for animals, ensuring food safety and preventing food borne illnesses.
Can Xuan Binh, deputy director of Ha Noi's Department of Animal Health, said the city's veterinary workers were ill-equipped and too few in number to fight or prevent epidemics.
The city now has 584 animal health units in communes, wards and towns, but lacks 54 heads for the units, according to the department.
There are also fears that many of those senior veterinary professionals may be under qualified. Only 16 per cent of the unit heads have university degrees, less than a quarter of them have college diplomas, and about 3 per cent are not trained in animal health.
"Many of them are embarrassed when making reports or implementing epidemic prevention measures," said Binh.
Due to the shortage of veterinary workers, some districts' animal health units employ retired medical workers to fill that gap.
The city has more than 2,400 veterinary workers, but nearly a third of them are over age.
Moreover, Binh said, some animal health units in suburban districts are lacking refrigerators for vaccines, safety work wear, and other essential professional equipment.
City officials are hopeful the new program will improve the overall quality of veterinary care in the capital. Training courses will stress animal health regulations, as well as food hygiene and safety laws.
The trainees will be taught to monitor livestock and poultry epidemics, and ways to recognise and treat dangerous diseases such as bird flu, foot-and-mouth, and blue ear in pigs.
Everyday Ha Noi uses thousands of tonnes of livestock and poultry, and 40 per cent of the meat was transported from neighbouring provinces, according to the Ha Noi Department of Animal Health.
The city has more than 3,000 slaughter houses. — VNS